Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Niger3 March 2008

Niger refuses visa to Reporters Without Borders secretary-general

The government of Niger has refused to provide Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard with a visa for a trip he was to have made to Niamey to participate from there in a special day of solidarity with the organisation’s imprisoned correspondent, Moussa Kaka, which Radio France Internationale is organising on 10 March.

After submitting a visa application to Niger’s embassy in Paris on 19 February, Ménard was notified seven days later that his request had been denied. Communication minister and government spokesman Mohammed Ben Omar subsequently confirmed the refusal to him by telephone.

“We deplore this discriminatory treatment, which is not in Niger’s interests,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hope the government will not persist in this attitude, which will just perpetuate the status quo and hurt Niger’s image even more.”

Ménard made two recent trips to Niamey without any problem, in November and January, to visit Kaka in Niamey prison and to seek the release of two French journalists employed by the Franco-German TV station ARTE, Thomas Dandois and Pierre Creisson. Arrested in December after visiting northern Niger, where the Tuareg rebels of the Niger People’s Movement for Justice (MNJ) are active, Dandois and Creisson were freed on 18 January.

The Niamey correspondent of both Reporters Without Borders and RFI, Kaka was arrested on 20 September and charged with “complicity in a conspiracy against the authority of the state” because his phone calls with an MNJ leader allegedly demonstrated that he “conniving” with the rebels. He is facing a possible life sentence.



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
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