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Niger19 March 2008

Time to release Moussa Kaka, arrested exactly six months ago

The Niger Association of Independent Press Editors (ANEPI) and the Network of Journalists for Human Rights (RJDH) - two Niamey-based organisations - have joined Reporters Without Borders in signing an appeal for the release of Moussa Kaka, the Niger correspondent of Radio France Internationale (RFI), who was arrested in Niamey on 20 September, exactly six months ago.

The text of the appeal :

“This is Moussa Kaka in Niamey for RFI.” No one has heard this sign-off for the past six months. A well-known and respected journalist is no longer able to talk about his country. Africans who live with an ear glued to a radio set no longer have someone talking to them from Niamey. Niger has fallen silent.

It is Moussa Kaka who has become a news item, as he is now in prison. For the past six months, his name has only been heard in radio and TV broadcasts when presenters have reported the bad news that he is still detained.

We are journalists. We know that this is a difficult job, in Europe as in Africa. It is often thankless. It can be dangerous. It is often irritating for governments. But it is indispensable if you want to let a country continue to live and breathe. “If you want honey, you have to have the courage to deal with bees,” the Senegalese say.

Six months is enough. It is time Niger returned to the fold of democratic African nations. Freeing Moussa Kaka would rid Niger of the dark clouds that been oppressing it for the past six months. It would free Niger of the weight of suspicion and reproach. It would release Niger from a crisis that has dragged on too long.

Reporters Without Borders
Niger Association of Independent Press Editors (ANEPI)
Network of Journalists for Human Rights (RJDH)

As of today, Reporters Without Borders and RFI have received 2244 messages of support for Moussa Kaka at these two addresses : moussa@rsf.org and liberezmoussa@rfi.fr

The three organisations also reaffirm their solidarity with Boubacar Gourouza, the editor of the independent fortnightly L’Eveil Plus, who was sentenced to a month in prison on 6 March because of an editorial that allegedly “discredited” a court decision by comparing two verdicts. He is in the same prison as Moussa Kaka.



In this country
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In latest judicial harassment of broadcasting group, director-general charged with “false news”
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Court orders journalist’s provisional release after more than a year in detention

in the annual report
Niger - Annual Report 2008
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Niger - Annual report 2006

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