Last Updated: Monday, 28 July 2014, 16:37 GMT

Journalists Killed in 1998 - Motive Confirmed: Norbert Zongo

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 1999
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 1998 - Motive Confirmed: Norbert Zongo, January 1999, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e64951fc.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

L'indepéndent
December 13, 1998, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Zongo, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper L'indepéndent, was found dead in his car, along with his brother, his chauffeur, and a fourth, unidentified person. The inside of the vehicle was burnt and the bodies were charred, although the exterior of the car was not burnt. A rear door was riddled with what appeared to be gunshots. The private newsweekly had recently published articles accusing President Blaise Compaore's brother of complicity in the death of his chauffeur. CPJ wrote President Compaore urging that he launch a thorough and impartial investigation into Zongo's death and that he bring the perpetrators to justice.

In early August 2000, three members of President Blaise Compaore's Guard Regiment (RSP) went on trial for the murder of chauffeur David Ouedraogo. The three guards were found guilty of killing David Ouedraogo and sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in jail. The court also awarded the victim's family 200 million francs (US$227,000) in damages. But it would be another six months before authorities acknowledged any link between the death of Ouedraogo and the murder of Norbert Zongo and his friends.

In early January 2001, one of the jailed guardsmen was found dead in his prison cell "after a long disease," according to a government press release. A month later, RSP guardsman Marcel Kafando was indicted for murdering Zongo. Kafando, already serving a 20-year sentence for Ouedraogo's murder, is the first person to be formally accused of killing Norbert Zongo and his companions. The state prosecutor said that the indictment resulted from "contradictions noted in [Kafando's] alibi for December 12 and 13 of 1998." No trial date has yet been set.

Medium:Print
Job:Editor
Gender:Male
Local or Foreign:Local
Freelance:No
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Military Officials
Impunity:Yes
Taken Captive:No
Tortured:No
Threatened:Yes

 

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

Search Refworld

Countries