Côte d’Ivoire Policies Affecting Disinformation
There is currently no specific Ivorian legislation that addresses disinformation, however different laws that could be used to sanction individuals are vague and could be used to limit free speech. No. Article 173 of the Ivorian Penal Code criminalizes the publishing of "fake news" when "results (or could result) in civil disobedience, attacks the public morale, or discredits institutions or their functioning". The law does not identify what is “fake news” and thus could have a variety of interpretations.
The Ivorian Penal Code Loi n°2013-451 Relative à la Lutte contre la Cybercriminalité, criminalizes "false information" that "suggests that the destruction of property or an attack against persons has already occurred, or is likely to take place" or in "any other emergency situation".
Loi n°2017-867 du Décembre 2017 portant Régime Juridique de la Presse, prohibits the publication of false information in the press. Violation of this law can result in a fine of between 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 francs.
Despite the fact that press offenses were decriminalized in 2004 two journalists Dan Opeli and Yves Kuyo were arrested on the charge of "divulging false news" in 2017.
In 2019, Ivorian MP Alain Lobognan, was sentenced to one year in prison for a tweet that was deemed "fake news" and prosecutors alleged that the tweet caused demonstrations and violence.