Search

 

Cablegate: Update On Press Freedom in Niger

VZCZCXRO8380
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0196 0451422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141422Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4111
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0654

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000196

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/W DENNISON, AF/RSA HARPOLE AND AF/PDPA LISENBY

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM SOCI KCOR KPAO NG
SUBJECT: Update on press freedom in Niger

REF: (a) 07 Niamey 1346; (b)
07 Niamey 1220


1. Journalist Ibrahim Manzo Diallo was granted provisional release
from prison on February 6. Diallo is the director of Agadez-based
newspaper Air Info. He was arrested in October 2007 and held in
pre-trial detention on charges of conspiring with the MNJ (ref a).
Although released, Diallo still faces charges. No trial date has
been set.

2. In the case of Moussa Kaka (ref b), jailed director of Radio
Sarounia (the local RFI affiliate), the Court of Appeals on February
12 reversed a lower court ruling barring consideration of alleged
wiretap evidence, and reassigned his case to another judge.

3. The formerly presiding judge had ruled that the wiretap evidence
had been illegally obtained and was inadmissible, and dismissed
charges against Kaka; however, he was held pending a ruling on the
prosecution's appeal. Kaka's lawyer has lodged an appeal with the
Nigerien Supreme Court asking for his client's provisional release.
(Comment: it is widely speculated that the reassignment of Kaka's
case to another judge is a result of political interference in the
judicial proceeding. End comment.)

4. On February 5 a lower court judge confirmed the prison sentences
of two other journalists, Idrissa Soumana Maiga, director of
publication of private newspaper L'Enqueteur, and his editor Ibrahim
Souley. The two were convicted on January 8 under Niger's criminal
libel statute and were each sentenced to one month in jail.

5. The prosecutor in the case asked the judge to reconsider his
ruling, requesting a minimum sentence of one year. The judge's
February 5 ruling reconfirmed the original one month sentence, but
the prosecutor has indicated he will appeal the sentence to a higher
court.

6. Maiga and Souley had been arrested on November 28, 2007, after
publishing a November 19, 2007 article accusing the Minister of
Finance of corruption in awarding a government contract to an
associate. The journalists were held for questioning for 72 hours,
then released. They have remained free pending final resolution of
their case.

ALLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: