Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Niger29 May 2002

Two journalists and a newspaper owner were released

29.05.2002 - Two journalists and a newspaper owner were released

Abarad Moudour Zakara and Seïni Oumarou Jackou were sentenced to a four month imprisonment term, and ordered to pay a 100 000 CFA francs (about 153 euros) fine for libelling Niger’s Trade Minister. Mr Jackou and Abdoulaye Tiemogo were not found guilty of incitement to ethnical hatred.

22.05.2002 - Two journalists and a newspaper owner jailed in Niamey

image 170 x 189 (GIF) Reporters Without Borders has protested the arrests of Abdoulaye Tiémogo, publication director of the private weekly "Le Canard Déchaîné", and Abarad Mouddour Zakara, publication director of the private weekly "La Roue de l’histoire". Zakara was arrested and kept in police custody on 18 May 2002, following Commerce Minister Seïni Oumarou’s filing of a complaint for "defamation". Sanoussi Jackou, owner of "La Roue de l’histoire" newspaper and president of the Parti Nigérien pour l’autogestion (PNA), a small opposition party, was also arrested on 17 May in the context of the same case. Tiémogo was held for questioning on 17 May, one week after hosting a debate on the private radio station Tambara FM during which Jackou accused Prime Minister Hama Amadou of ethnic and regional discrimination in the appointment of high state officials. The three men were placed in provisional detention at Niamey’s civilian prison on 21 May. They are expected to stand trial on 24 May and face a six-month to two-year prison sentence.

In a letter to Communications Minister Mamane Sani, Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Robert Ménard stated, "These journalists should not be imprisoned. We remind you that the United Nations considers incarceration to be a serious human rights violation as a penalty for violations of the press laws." The organisation asked him to consult with the relevant authorities to secure the journalists’ immediate release.

Reporters Without Borders also recalled that Tiémogo was imprisoned at Niamey’s civilian prison for 48 days in 2001. On 19 October 2001, the Niamey First Instance Tribunal sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment for "defamation". Agriculture Minister Wassalké Boukari had filed a complaint against "Le Canard Déchaîné" following its publication of an article alleging that he had embezzled 200 million CFA francs (approx. US$281,000; 305,000 euros) from a gold-mining area in the west of the country. The minister withdrew his complaint at the start of the appeals trial.

In this country
3 April - Niger
In latest judicial harassment of broadcasting group, director-general charged with “false news”
6 February - Niger
Editor of the weekly L’Action sentenced to three months in prison
18 November - Niger
Two l’Evénement journalists given suspended prison sentences for defamation
12 November - Niger
Newspaper editor freed after being given suspended prison sentence
7 October - Niger
Court orders journalist’s provisional release after more than a year in detention

in the annual report
Niger - Annual Report 2008
Niger - Annual Report 2007
Niger - 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

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

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