Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Togo10 October 2005

Thugs beat up opposition weekly editor on Lomé street

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about a physical attack on Jean-Baptiste Dzilan, (also known as Dimas Dzikodo), the editor of the opposition weekly Forum de la Semaine, who was badly beaten by unidentified individuals last night in Lomé.

“The Togolese police should be alarmed that a newspaper editor received a severe beating in the middle of a Lomé street,” the press freedom organisation said.

“For the sake of maintaining public order, we call for every effort to be made to find and punish the perpetrators,” Reporters Without Borders added, “otherwise, given the still volatile political situation in Togo, the attack on Dzikodo could encourage everyone with a score to settle with the press.”

Dzikodo, 31, was driving on a motorcycle with one of his brothers towards the northern neighbourhood of Gbonvié at around 10 p.m. when they were intercepted by two men on another motor-cycle, which made his brother fall off. Then two other men on a third motor-cycle knocked Dzikodo’s motor-cycle over and all four assailants began beating Dzikodo with clubs.

A car with six men aboard then arrived, at which point Dzikodo tried to escape, he told Reporters Without Borders today. However, they caught up with him, sprayed him with an as yet unidentified liquid from an aerosol can, and tried to make him swallow a liquid, which he managed to spit out. When local residents responded to his cries for help, the assailants finally fled, taking his computer’s USB jump drive with them. Dzikodo is now receiving treatment in a clinic.

“Their intention was to eliminate me, they were aiming their blows at my head,” Dzikodo told Reporters Without Borders. Communication minister Kokou Tozoun, who is also the government spokesman, condemned the attack. “We do not need this kind of action at this time of widespread jubilation, which is leading us to reconciliation,” he told Reporters Without Borders while visiting Dzikodo.

Forum de la Semaine is a tabloid that has been very critical of the current government. Dzikodo, who is also secretary-general of the Organisation of Independent Press Editors (OREPI), has received death threats in the past and was detained several times under the previous government led by the late Gen. Gnassingbé Eyadéma.



In this country
25 April - Togo
Le Figaro correspondent turned back on arrival two days before election
21 April - Togo
Alarm about coverage bans, bias and verbal violence in run-up to elections
30 March - Togo
State TV crew physically attacked during opposition demonstration
25 February - Togo
Last three radio stations back on the air
16 February - Togo
Authorities could close as many as 60 radio and TV stations in ongoing crackdown

in the annual report
Togo - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives
archives

reports
18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election
archives

Sign the petitions
Eritrea
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists