All You Need to Know About Free Speech in the Western World:
Censorship of Politicians and Civil Activists from Africa

The owners of Facebook and Wikipedia have once again confirmed that their resources are not palladium of freedom of speech. The next victims of censorship on social media became the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC) research team and the Executive Advisor of the “Freedom and Democracy for the Republic” Party of Cote d’Ivoire, Natalie Yamb. The reason for this, most likely, was the speeches of experts from AFRIC and Natalie Yamb at the Russia-Africa summit held in Sochi on October 23-24.

The AFRIC account on Facebook was deleted without explanation. Clifton Ellis, chairman of the International Sustainable Energy Organization and one of the AFRIC coordinators, described the incident as follows: “Dear subscribers, it seems that we have attracted the attention of some very powerful forces, because today we must regretfully inform about the removal of the AFRIC account on Facebook without explanation reasons from the administration … I think there is reason to believe that the events of the last week at the Russia-Africa summit contributed to this. The growing reputation of AFRIC, certainly caused a strong shock in someone. We are doing our work in the interests of all of Africa, and it is very disappointing that the establishment in a “draconian” manner aimed at us, but our attitudes remains high, and assertiveness only strengthens” …

At the same time, a page dedicated to Natalie Yamb, a well-known political and social activist, a former Budget Minister of her country, disappeared from Wikipedia. Obviously, the reason for this was a harsh attack on the French policy in Africa, voiced by Mrs. Yamb at the summit in Sochi. Her speech had such a significant resonance that the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs was forced to post on its Twitter account an answer to the announced claims.

Separately, it is necessary to mention the problems encountered by Dolicia Ratovonkeri, a researcher from the Antananarivo University of Law. During her speech at the summit (where she was not a speaker, but took part in a polemic from the audience in a section dedicated to the way of the future of Africa – and prepared with the active participation of the Foundation for National Values Protection), she merely addressed the topic of combating corruption in African countries in general and in Madagascar particularly. However, after the summit in Sochi, she waw deprived of the right to enter France.

All this clearly indicates that not everyone has the freedom of speech in the Western world. This privilege is given only to those who express the position of the political establishment. For other people, an attempt to convey their point of view to the public turns into blockages, a “mopping up” the Internet, even from references to their existence and a direct ban on entering the land of “democratic” countries.

Alexander Malkevich
Head of the Foundation for National Values Protection (Russia).
Chairman of the Commission on Development of Information Community,

Mass Media and Mass Communications of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation