Freedom of the Press


Freedom of the Press 2014

The media environment in Seychelles over the past decade has been characterized by government monopolization of radio and television, liberal use of draconian libel laws against opposition newspapers, occasional attacks against and harassment of media workers, and extensive self-censorship. However, conditions improved somewhat in 2013 due to a recent reduction in the cost of broadcast licenses, the issuing of new licenses, and the launching of the first private radio station as well as a new print outlet.
The constitution protects freedom of speech, but it also limits this guarantee with provisions protecting the reputation, rights, and privacy of citizens and the “interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health.” It grants the minister of information the power to prohibit the broadcast of any material deemed contradictory to the “national interest.” Since the court of appeals in 2007 overturned a libel conviction against the opposition weekly Regar, which had forced it to close temporarily, both the filing of libel charges and libel convictions have diminished. Nevertheless, civil libel suits can still be used against journalists. In 2012, the editor of the newspaper Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly, Ralph Volcere, who was also an opposition party leader, was found guilty of contempt of court under section 114 (1) of the penal code for an article challenging the neutrality of a sitting judge. Volcere was required to either publish an apology or pay a fine of 10,000 rupees ($730). Seychelles has no freedom of information legislation in place.
The state has a de facto monopoly on television broadcasting, and until 2013 it controlled the only radio outlets as well. Private broadcasters have been slow to develop because of prohibitively large annual licensing fees, though these were reduced in 2012 from 800,000 rupees ($67,000) to 100,000 rupees for radio and 250,000 rupees for television. Following one opposition party’s efforts to raise enough money for a radio license, the National Assembly in 2006 passed an amendment to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act prohibiting politically affiliated groups from obtaining a license.
In late 2009, the Seychelles Media Association, a grouping of media professionals, was reconstituted after a 10-year hiatus. The 2010 Seychelles Media Commission Act set up an independent media arbitration body, but questions have been raised about its neutrality. In May 2013, the commission published codes of conduct and ethics for journalists in the country.

A new Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation Act was passed in 2011, replacing legislation from 1992. The act was intended to increase the autonomy of the state-owned Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), which runs the only television station and two radio stations. However, the period surrounding the 2011 presidential election highlighted the continued bias of the SBC in favor of the ruling Parti Lepep and its candidate, President James Michel, who won reelection. SBC media coverage is still dominated by the government, giving opposition parties only limited access.
There have been reports of the government monitoring e-mail, chat rooms, and blogs, and opposition activists have accused authorities of blocking their party websites. Individuals are commonly arrested, detained, and eventually released for posting critical comments about government officials on social-networking websites.
Incidents involving attacks on or harassment of journalists are uncommon. However, in October 2013, Volcere reported via Facebook that Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly’s delivery vehicle had been severely vandalized.
The state-owned daily Seychelles Nation rarely publishes stories that are critical of the government, and paid advertising accounts for 60 percent of the content. Pressure from advertisers has led to management restructuring and the departure of seven journalists since 2010. The independent daily Today in Seychelles has grown to become one of the leading newspapers since launching in 2011. The weekly Le Seychellois Hebdo, which also began publishing in 2011, takes a more critical stance toward the government. Three other weekly newspapers—Regar, the People, and Le Nouveau Seychelles Weekly—are affiliated with political parties. In February 2013, the newspaper Rising Sun Daily News abruptly ceased publication. However, a new triweekly paper, the Victoria Times, was launched in April. The SBC operates government-owned television and radio stations and relays foreign broadcasts. The government subsidizes 85 percent of the SBC budget, with the remaining 15 percent coming from private advertising. Since the 2012 reduction in broadcast licensing fees, authorities have granted two licenses to independent radio stations. In August 2013, one of those stations, Pure FM, went on the air, becoming the country’s first private commercial radio outlet.
In 2012, Seychelles was connected to the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, which provided the country with greater telecommunications bandwidth. About 50 percent of the population accessed the internet in 2013. Telecommunications companies must submit subscriber information to the government, though the requirement was not enforced in 2013.


  1. Mediocrity on AUTO PILOT to Collapse.
    Seselwa Unite!
    Sesel Pou Seselwa!

    Christopher Gill

  2. Freedom House defends Extortion House in Seychelles?
    What a bunch of donkeys.

  3. Despite the ostensible medioc changes in the way Pl treats the Press,the underlying mind set is much the same as in the past.Journalists have been given a bit space within which to work ,but the limit of that space is still decide by the state.We In A one-party State.

    Two conflicting positions on the freedom of the press arise with analysis of Communist theory.The first is an argument against indivudal freedoms.In a Communist society,the individual's best interests are indislinguishable from thr country's Communsit part best interest.Thus,the idea of an individual freedom is incompable with Communist ideology.The only reason to hold individual dpeech and information rights would be to better the Communist society,a condition which would likely be only in certain instances,rather than across time,making the default a lack of freedom.

    on the other hand,the idea of perfect Equallity in Communsit argues for a right of expression and press freedom.Since each Individual is equally important,each should have an equal valid point of view.Indedd,K MArx te Godfather of Communism,defended the the right to a freedom of the press, arguing"That restriction like censorship were instituted by the bourgeois elit".He claimed "Censorship is a tool of the powerful to oppress the powerless".

    Indedd,many implememnted of Communism favored a Constituional democracy,albeit one party.Before and after the creation of manx Communsit countires(including Seychelles) a desire for freedom from the Pooression of Poletariat by the bourgeois translated into strongly voiced support for individual freedom of speech,dissent and information..Mao the Dprit leader of Communism,in encouraging his countrymen to prepare for WWII a decade before he came to power,.proclaimed"the people should subject.......the aprty in power to severe criticism,and press and impel it to give up its one-party,one-class dictatorship and act according to the opinions of the people.....The second concerns freedom of speech .Assembly and Association for the people.Without such freedom,it will be impossible to caryyy out the democratic reconstruction of the political system"Sound Like Moa was a democrate.

    But Like Mao,Pl hijacked power severely restricted power its citizens freedom of speech and expression and access to the people's National media.On SBC,Nation ,for instance,you see 24/24.7/7,265/365 Pl clowns only performing their circus,or each month Pl appointed Oppostion leader Pierre shaking hands with Michel ,or Mancham (the coocook clock )now and than teling us"I agrre with Michel's fialures and crimes"or if not Manchan it is Indain Expats illegally proccesioning in our Christian streets or Indain Mabassador rasing Indain Flag filmed by Pl to indicates the annexation fo Seychelles by Indai or Mao Mabassador trying to promote Maosim in Seychelles.You never see SBC,NATIOn and Onezime on the streets questioning Ordinary Citizens and ask them their opinions of Pl policies ,as to the Oppostion Pl handle them as if they do not exist.And All that because Pl thugs believe freedom of information should be only be granted when Communsit society as a whole is likely to benefit.In this light,it makes much more sense that Pl communist while still a persecuted Oppostion philosophy would strongly support speech rights and alter reject them when communism becomes the ruling system.At that point,access to Opposition,free speeches and information is no longer needed in communist philosophy.

    Free speech is the bedrock of all Human freedoms.The value a society gives to freedom of expression determines whether this country is free or unfree.A society is unfree if indiviudals are afraid to speak their minds,to think unpopular thoughts,to criticize government,or to dispute ideas and opinions.

    follow up below

  4. But how censor works?Pl has wedded the traditional Confucian ideal of social order to the stalinsit model of an authoritatiran state under the world's deepest information void.Radio,Tvs,press serve as diet of fawningcoverage of the Dear leader and his official engagements.the country rgihts abuse,state organized crimies ,corruption are never mentioned.After all the dear leader is god.

    it is ture that free press are more dangerous than an army for dictators.As Napoleon puts it"Four hostiles newspaers are more to be feared than bayonets"

    Pl communsits are like cockroaches,turn a light (camera)on they scatter.

    Pl has been running overdirve tyring to pluf nook and cranny by which Seychelleois could get news and inforamtionfrom independent sources.Seychelles chicken littles are so paranoid that they require the printing press over which they have total monopoly and consors.There are many reasons that justify sweeping portections for free speech in society.Without freedom of speech the person is liked a corcked bottle,keeping under pressure his/her dideas,views and feeling about politics,governemnt and society.Leaders and institutions can be criticized ,or held accountable where free speech and press are literally criminalized.In short,without free speech ,self-development is crippled and social porgresss grinds to a halt. and OFFICAL LIES become the truth.As Sahespear observed"lawless are they who make their WILL the Law"
    But you what Pl,consoring free speech is a Human right abuse.Stop abusing Seychellis rights Pl.

    Jeanne D'Arc

  5. Consors of free press in dictatorships.Consorship is considered a legitimate instrument for regulating the moral and political life of the populace(it was the case in Hitler's Nazism,Mao ,stalin communism, or Apartheid --to up held their cruelties S :Africa etc....Free speech which implies the free expression of thoughts,is a challenge for dictators and tyrannts.For it free press always bring tyrannts to their knees.

    Censorship affected every aspect of culture,intellectaul and educational in kills enlightment and ,make people retarded.We must deal with Pl monopoly of State medias which is uses as PArty private assets-National meidas belong to the people Pl.not one-aprty state.Give us our asset back Pl.

    j drc

  6. Free pres/media is the anathema of dictators thouigjh some provide a limited freedom .Why would some non-democratic regimes partially allow free press?What are the circumstances under which it might be benefitiable to allow some degree fo press freedom?A possible answer is suggested by asituation we might call"Gobachev's delimma"In 1985 Gobachev faced an array of problems.A surge in the budget becifit following a sharp drop in oil prices was that latest sign that a command economy ,which had already underperformed relative to the West for more than a decade,required significant restructuring.Without allowing a certain amount of media freedom ,reforms of the highly inefficient bureaucratic system seemd all but impossible.In a small meeting with leading Soviet intellectuals,GORBI acknowlwdge"The restructuring is progressing with great difficulty.WE HAVE NO OPPOSITION PARTY.HOW THEN CAN WE CONTROL OURSELVES?only through criticism and self-criticism".

    .Gorbachev delimma was by no means unique:every non-democratic system has to provide some incentives system for low-tier officials,and most such regimes fear the free flow of information as a threat to their political survival.In other words,dictatorships Like that of Pl,by censorship.limits citiziness ability to overcome coordination problemsin organizing for instance,Assembly,revolt etc....But partialy freedom of press might be part of an incentive scheme ofr the state bureaucracy.lack of these incentives could undermines the state^s capacity to handle major challenges such as wars,löarge-scale natural desasters,,or macroeconomic crisis etc....In these cases,even the censored media could failed to cover the dicator's incompetency,,which might eventually bring the regime down.

    Freedom of the press is not an end in itself buta means to the end of achieving freeSoceity--- that whjat scares Pl to death.

  7. Why Seychellios dont buy their satellite tv?

  8. WTO want our fish?That why now they want Seychelles in WTO runing out of food around the world.India also have said they need their rice for their peoples.Did those moron read what they sign?

  9. WTo has nothing to d in Seychelles--it is a dictatorial organization coming to rob us dry and control our economy.Seychelles as small island state with limited resources unlike big industrial countires does not need to be aprt of WTO.It is PL unilateral decision in order that the corruption machine keeps turning regardless of the consequences of locals and country's sovereignty which would be raped.

  10. WTo wants the annexation of our economy into to rob us,dictates it crook economic policies on us,to decide in our palce etc.. and that with the help of Pl monkeys ,hungry after bankrupting us a second time and ready to sell out everything to feed themselves and keep the party afloat.Seychellois civil society did not participate in these deasl therefore we consider these deals made unilaterally by Pl thugs ILLEGAL,Anti-Constitutional.WTO=World Terrorist Organization.

  11. IMF is back to bail Pl and further indebt Seychellois.

  12. IMF back on shore for another holiday?Bail them out for the coming election 2016.Good job IMF continue bail them out and make Seychellios peoples suffering and pay for it.

    No opposition can approach IMF when there are on our shore?


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