Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2014, 14:31 GMT

Newspaper publisher gets three years in jail for criticising arrest warrant

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 18 August 2009
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, Newspaper publisher gets three years in jail for criticising arrest warrant, 18 August 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a8d545f5.html [accessed 31 October 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.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the three-month jail sentence which a Niamey court passed today on Abdoulaye Tiémogo, the publisher of the independent weekly Le Canard Déchaéné, on a charge of "discrediting a judicial decision."

"It is the decision to sentence a journalist to imprisonment that discredits Niger's judicial system," Reporters Without Borders said. "This comes just two weeks after eight newspaper publishers were detained for questioning. How far are the authorities prepared to go to prevent independent journalists from doing their work?"

Tiémogo, who is being held in a Niamey prison, has appealed against the sentence. The trial began on 11 August, six days after he was arrested over an article several weeks earlier about a prosecutor's decision to issue an international arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Hama Amadou on a charge of corruption.

The political situation in Niger is fraught as a result of President Mamadou Tandja's decision to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for a third term. On 29 June, he dissolved the constitutional court after it rejected his referendum project three times.

On 14 August, a new constitutional court endorsed the results of the referendum finally held on 4 August, thereby proclaiming a "6th Republic" and allowing Tandja to remain in power for another three years before running for reelection.

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