Africa

2011

Alerts   |   Mauritius

Mauritius jails journalist for contempt of court

Dharmanand Dooharika (Lexpress)

New York, October 20, 2011--Authorities in Mauritius today imprisoned a journalist for contempt of the Supreme Court and levied two fines over coverage of a case, according to local journalists and news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentences.

Editor-in-Chief Dharmanand Dooharika of the private weekly Samedi Plus was incarcerated in the main prison in the town of Beau-Bassin, even though his appeal is pending against the three- month jail sentence handed down Monday by Justice Keshoe Parsad Matadeen of the Mauritius Supreme Court, defense lawyer Ravi Rutnah told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland radio station hit by grenade attack

Radio Galkayo was damaged in a grenade attack. (Raxanreeb)

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Tuesday's grenade attack on a Puntland radio station and calls for authorities to take immediate steps to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. This was the third local radio station hit with a blast in three months, CPJ research showed.

On Tuesday evening, a grenade was hurled into the studios of Radio Galkayo, a community radio station covering local news and current affairs based in the city of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. The blast destroyed the back wall and a window to the office of Managing Director Abdullahi Hersi, local reports said. No one was hurt in the attack, but the station's staff was working in fear, the reports said. In January 2010, Radio Galkayo was damaged by a grenade that destroyed one studio and a roof, local journalists said.

October 19, 2011 2:30 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Liberia

Liberian media outlets targeted in post-election violence

Inside Love FM, after Monday's bomb attack. (Press Union of Liberia)

New York, October 18, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Monday's arson attack against a Liberian radio station and threats made against another radio station's journalists in response to their coverage of Liberia's presidential elections.

Blog   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia

Swedish support for jailed colleagues in Ethiopia, Eritrea

Swedish journalist Elsa Persson (Journalisternas Solidariska Fängelseaktion)

If you pass by Kronoberg Prison in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, you will see journalists chained to its gates. They have committed no crime. For over a week, journalists have taken turns locking themselves up in front of the prison to raise awareness of the imprisonment of three colleagues held in the Horn of Africa.

October 17, 2011 4:47 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Nigeria

Nigeria police arrest six journalists

The Nation's office in Lagos. (AP)

New York, October 12, 2011--Police in Nigeria arrested six journalists and one staff member from independent daily The Nation on Tuesday concerning the publication of a purported private letter from former head of state Olusegun Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan about administrators of government agencies, local journalists reported.

On the front page of its October 4 edition, The Nation published a letter, allegedly written by Obasanjo, that recommended Jonathan replace five CEOs of several government agencies, news reports said. Obasanjo filed a complaint last week, accusing the newspaper of publishing the letter with a forgery of his signature, Olusola Amore, the national police spokesman, told CPJ. The Nation, widely perceived as an opposition paper, said in a statement that they stand by their story and the letter's authenticity.

October 12, 2011 4:55 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Angola

Angolan editor given one-year suspended prison term

William Tonet (Alexandre Neto)

New York, October 12, 2011--An Angolan judge handed a suspended prison term and a fine to the editor of an independent newspaper on Monday in connection with stories that alleged corruption and abuse of power by five senior officials close to President José Eduardo Dos Santos, according to news reports and local journalists. 

Judge Manuel Pereira da Silva convicted William Tonet, editor of the private weekly Folha 8, of criminal libel and sentenced him to a year in prison, suspended for two years, and a fine of 10 million kwanza (US$105,000), news reports said. In a highly unusual move, the public prosecutor withdrew the charges in court and demanded the acquittal of the journalist, local journalists told CPJ. The judge ignored the request.

October 12, 2011 1:09 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ethiopia

Zenawi calls jailed Swedish journalists terror accomplices

Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (Reuters)

New York, October 11, 2011--Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's public accusations on Monday against two imprisoned Swedish journalists compromise the presumption of their innocence and predetermine the outcome of their case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalists were arrested in Ethiopia in July and charged with terrorism for associating with armed separatists.

In July, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, contributors to the Sweden-based photo agency Kontinent, were arrested after they crossed with rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) into Ogaden, an oil-rich province where the media is barred independent access. Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government formally designated the ONLF a terrorist group under an anti-terrorism law. Under this 2009 law, journalists risk up to 20 years in prison if the government deems their reporting favorable to groups designated as terrorists. Both journalists were charged without their lawyers present, CPJ research shows.

October 11, 2011 5:24 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Gambia

Gambian minister should disclose Manneh's fate

Gambian Press Union
New York, October 11, 2011 - An official of the Gambian government publicly indicated knowledge of the whereabouts of missing journalist Ebrima "Chief" Manneh, according to news reports. The government, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in Manneh's 2006 disappearance, must immediately disclose the details of his status, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
October 11, 2011 4:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   Equatorial Guinea

Obiang prize shelved... for now... again

UNESCO's executive board Tuesday again deferred action on the life sciences prize named after and funded by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. The Committee to Protect Journalists joined with other human rights organizations to call on the board to eliminate the prize permanently.

October 5, 2011 9:49 AM ET

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Blog   |   Equatorial Guinea

Obiang prize goes down to the wire

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is a stubborn man.  In 2008, the president of Equatorial Guinea made a $3 million donation to UNESCO to underwrite a prize in the life sciences. But a groundswell of opposition from human rights groups, press freedom organizations, and governments appalled by Obiang's record of kleptocracy and human rights abuses helped raise a global ruckus. Public pressure eventually forced UNESCO's executive board to reach a face saving agreement to suspend the prize while promising "to continue the consultations among all parties."

October 3, 2011 10:03 AM ET

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2011

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