Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Togo31 March 2003

Authorities censor foreign correspondents

According to information collected by Reporters Without Borders, on 26 March 2003, the Communications Ministry’s press attaché informed all foreign correspondents, including those with Radio France Internationale, Agence France-Presse, Reuters and the BBC, that the minister was barring them from practicing their jobs "until further notice." With the exception of the correspondent for Africa No. 1 radio, the authorities fault the journalists for not covering a forum on African elections, which opened in Lomé on 24 March. The foreign correspondents had not found interesting issues to cover at the opening of the forum. Several journalists said they had decided to wait until the end of the conference and the likely adoption of resolutions before covering the event.

"This is a reactionary measure from another era. It has been years since we saw a government censor the entire foreign press corps. The Togolese authorities have once again demonstrated how imaginative they are when it comes to attacking the press," said Reporters Without Borders’ Secretary-General Robert Ménard. The organisation has urged the communications minister not to apply this measure and to allow foreign correspondents to work without impediment.

According to one correspondent from an international news agency who spoke to Reporters Without Borders, if this new measure is enforced, it could seriously compromise journalists’ ability to do their jobs. For example, they might be prevented access to official meetings or no longer be invited to attend government or other officials’ press conferences.

Reporters Without Borders recalls that Togolese President Gnassingbé Eyadéma is included on the organisation’s list of international press freedom predators.



In this country
10 October - Togo
Thugs beat up opposition weekly editor on Lomé street
25 April - Togo
Le Figaro correspondent turned back on arrival two days before election
21 April - Togo
Alarm about coverage bans, bias and verbal violence in run-up to elections
30 March - Togo
State TV crew physically attacked during opposition demonstration
25 February - Togo
Last three radio stations back on the air

in the annual report
Togo - 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