Special Reports

Niger


For some delegates, just getting to the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) regional conference in Dakar, Senegal, was an impressive achievement. While his colleagues used more conventional modes of transportation, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) president Frank Kposowa navigated his way out of the country by night in a hired motorized dugout canoe. The state of anarchy in Sierra Leone since the May 25, 1997, coup d'?├ętat had rendered travel virtually impossible, and Kposowa's risky passage was just another example of the challenges facing courageous journalists who chose to remain in the country and risked losing their lives by practicing their profession.

Six months after the coup in Niger led by General Ibrahim Mainassara, during the July 1996 national elections, Radio Anfani managing director Gremah Boucar faced down numerous attempts by Mainassara's military regime to force the station permanently off the air, including a one-month period where soldiers stormed and occupied the Anfani studios. Almost a year later, Boucar is still paying a high price for his commitment to airing uncensored international and local news: At 3:30 a.m. on March 3, five unidentified armed men wearing military uniforms ransacked the Radio Anfani studios and destroyed recently installed equipment valued at $80,000.

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Contact

Africa

Program Coordinator:
Sue Valentine

Advocacy Coordinator:
Mohamed Keita

East Africa Consultant:
Tom Rhodes

West Africa Consultant:
Peter Nkanga

svalentine@cpj.org
mkeita@cpj.org
trhodes@cpj.org
pnkanga@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 117
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ

Blog: Sue Valentine
Blog: Mohamed Keita
Blog: Tom Rhodes
Blog: Peter Nkanga

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