|Official Country Name:||Republic of Seychelles|
|Region (Map name):||Africa|
|Language(s):||English, French, Creole|
The Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar, served as a home base for pirates in the early seventeenth century. Claimed by France in 1754, in 1770 the first boats of settlers began to arrive. Britain soon took an interest in the islands, and ownership changed hands 12 times before Britain took over for good after the Napoleonic Wars. The country declared independence in 1976.
English and French are the official languages, but Creole also is spoken. The population is around 80,000, and the literacy rate is 58 percent. A president serves as both chief of state and head of government. The legislative body is a 34-seat National Assembly. The most important sector of the economy is tourism, followed by tuna fishing. The government is trying to diversify into farming, fishing and light manufacturing because of the instability of the tourism industry.
The Seychelles' constitution guarantees press freedom on the condition that the reputation, rights, and liberties of privacy are protected in the interest of national defense, public security, public morality and health. As a result of this caveat, the government has been called the most repressive regime for press freedom. For example, a newspaper affiliated with the opposition political party has been forced to pay the president and other government officials more than 3,000 Euros—a huge fine for such a small publication—for criticizing the vice president's purchase of a luxury home, allegedly with public funds. The state also has a de facto monopoly on radio and television stations. The country's only daily is Seychelles Nation, which publishes Monday through Friday in print and online. The print version appears in English and Creole, but online content is primarily English. The People and Regar, published weekly by opposing political parties, print in English, French and Creole. Regar ap-pears on Friday, and its headlines appear online.
There are three radio stations, one AM and two FM, serving around 42,000 radios. Two television stations broadcast to about 11,000 televisions. There is one Internet service provider.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Seychelles." In The World Fact Book 2001. Available from http://www.cia.gov/cia/ .
News Headlines from REGAR. ATLAS Seychelles, Ltd. (n.d.). Available from http:/ww.seychelles.net/snp/pages/news.htm .
"Seychelles History." Lonely Planet. (2002.). Available from http://ww.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/africa/seychelles/history.htm .
Seychelles: Independent newspaper to pay exorbitant damages. Human Rights Education Association. (n.d.). Available from http://ww.hrea.org/lists/hr-media/markup/msg00003.html .
Seychelles NATION. (n.d.). Available from http://ww.seychelles-online.com.sc/ .
Small Islands Voice. UNESCO. (n.d.). Available from http://ww.unesco.org/csi/smis/siv/iosurvey.htm .
Jenny B. Davis