IPA found widespread censorship in Nigeria, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. In submissions to the UN Human Rights Council, the IPA recommended ways to support the governments of these three countries to improve their records on freedom of expression.
Overall, the IPA found that the freedom of expression recommendations previously accepted by these states in 2009 were not implemented. IPA called on Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to sign and quickly ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to signal the intent to respect freedom of expression in the future. While Malaysia should be commended for implementing the freedom of expression recommendations accepted in 2009, in practice, freedom of expression in Malaysia has not yet improved. And Saudi Arabia has not met the commitments it made in 2009.
Mr Bjørn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said: “We invite the countries under UPR review at the UN Human Rights Council to keep their word and genuinely implement the freedom of expression recommendations they accepted four years ago and we call on Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to sign the ICCPR as soon as possible”.