Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Benin12 February 2007

Two journalists freed after being held for two months

Clément Adéchian, the publisher if the privately-owned daily L’Informateur, and Cécil Adjévi, his editor, were released on 9 February after paying 5 million CFA francs (7,520 euros) in damages.


05.12.2006 - Two journalists sentenced to six months jail for “defamation”

Reporters Without Borders expressed shock at a six-month prison sentence handed down to publisher Clément Adéchian and editor Cécil Adjévi, of the privately-owned daily L’Informateur, together with a fine of 500,000 FCFA (752 euros) for “defamation”.

The two journalists were arrested and sentenced on 1st December on the basis of a complaint from a bailiff, Maxime Bankolé, who had been accused of rape in an edition of L’Informateur, an accusation for which the journalists were unable to produce any evidence.

They were immediately taken to the Cotonou civilian prison and their lawyer has appealed against the sentence.

“Apart from the fact that it gives a political aspect to something which was just a crime story, the severity of this sentence does not in any way constitute an appropriate response to a journalistic mistake,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“We have said it often enough: the supervision of the press should be left to media regulatory bodies and not to the criminal law, because prison has a symbolic meaning which effectiveness is inversely proportional to the punishment of equals. Since this is the second case in which journalists have been imprisoned since Boni Yayi became president, we believe it is time to reform the law,” it added.

In a statement released on 4 December, the national council of press and broadcast employers (CNPA) and the Benin journalists’ union (UPMB) said that it was “always bad for the image of our country and for the consolidation of our democracy to send journalists to prison just for articles they have written” and appealed for “leniency from the judicial authorities and the understanding of the political authorities.”



In this country
29 April - Benin
Journalist granted provisional release
8 April - Benin
Four journalists assaulted and detained by police

in the annual report
Benin - Annual Report 2007

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