Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Niger6 January 2004

Director of "Le Républicain" released

Mamane Abou, director of the private weekly "Le Républicain", was released on the morning of 6 January 2004. The journalist had spent two months in prison. (JPEG) Reporters without borders welcomes Abou’s release and urges the government to decriminalise press offenses. "We believe that sentencing a journalist to six months in prison for ’defamation’ is completely disproportionate. It is possible to penalise press offenses without using such repressive and brutal means," the organisation said in a statement.

Abou told Reporters without borders that he felt relieved and added that he was looking forward to "getting back to work as soon as possible."

The Niamey Appeals Court granted Abou a temporary release on 6 January. The director of "Le Républicain" had been sentenced to six months in prison with no parole on 7 November 2003. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 300,000 CFA francs (approx. US$575; 450 euros) and 10 million CFA francs (approx. US$19,400; 15,200 euros) in damages and interest for "defamation" and "stealing documents". Abou was not present at the earlier sentencing. He is expected to appear in court again within the next few weeks.

Abou was accused of publishing several confidential Public Treasury documents indicating that the finance minister had misappropriated funds. He had been held at Say’s central prison, about 50 kilometres from the capital, Niamey.



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