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Togo6 November 2002

Managing editor of "La Tribune du Peuple" briefly arrested by police

06.11.2002 - Update

Siliadin Kodjo has been released after a few hours in detention.


Reporters Without Borders has protested the 5 November 2002 arrest of Siliadin Kodjo, managing editor of the weekly "La Tribune du Peuple". "Once again, the Togolese authorities have opted to use the most repressive means to silence a journalist. The government, and especially President Gnassingbé Eyadéma, do not tolerate any criticism and systematically attack the independent and opposition press," stated RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard. The organisation asked the government to intervene with the relevant authorities and see to it that the journalist is released without delay. The Togolese head of state is included on Reporters Without Borders’ list of international press freedom predators.

On 5 November, in the late afternoon, "La Tribune du Peuple" managing editor Kodjo was arrested by six plainclothes police officers. He is accused of publishing an article, one month earlier, in which the newspaper denounced the security forces’ suppression of a demonstration organised by an opposition party.

The journalist was immediately taken to the Lomé police station. He was expected to be brought before a judge on the morning of 6 November. According to sources from the "La Tribune du Peuple" newsroom, several journalists have also received anonymous threatening telephone calls since the article’s publication.

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