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August 13, 2010

Cameroon journalist facing deportation in UK granted bail

Cameroonian journalist Charles Atangana has been granted bail in the UK for six weeks. Atangana, who is seeking asylum in the UK, will now be able to prepare his application for permission to seek a judicial review with closer support from his friends and trade union colleagues. UK's National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is trying to stop Glasgow-based Atangana from being deported to Cameroon where he is likely to face detention, torture or worse. NUJ General Secretary, Jeremy Dear said, "Though... MORE
August 13, 2010

Burundi frees journalist after two days in detention

Burundian authorities freed the director of a weekly publication arrested this week on defamation charges, the journalist said Friday. Thierry Ndayishimiye, the director of the Arc-en-ciel weekly, was released on Thursday, two days after he was detained over an article in which he accused the director of the national water and electricity firm of trying to cover up embezzlement of $110,000. "Yesterday (Thursday) I was called to go see my wife and children who came to visit me when all over... MORE
August 13, 2010

France condemns Army officer who threatened Togo journalist

France condemned the behaviour of one of its own military officers on Thursday, after a video appeared online showing him threatening a Togolese press photographer in Lome, Agence France-Presse (AFP) has reported. The officer, a serving French colonel employed by the foreign ministry as an advisor to the Togolese military, is seen ordering the journalist to erase pictures from his camera and ordering Togolese police to arrest him. "Do you want someone to strike your camera, or what?" he demands... MORE
August 12, 2010

In Burundi, 2nd editor arrested in less than a month

Burundian police on Tuesday arrested Thierry Ndayishimiye, chief editor of the private weekly Arc-en-Ciel , on defamation charges related to a story about alleged government corruption, according to New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Ndayishimiye is the second Burundian editor to be jailed in less than a month. The state prosecutor summoned Ndayishimiye to a court in the capital, Bujumbura, and then placed him in Mpimba Prison, defence lawyer Gabriel... MORE
August 9, 2010

South Africa journalists fight proposed media laws

South African journalists launched a campaign Sunday to fight what they say is an attempt to curtail media freedoms in a nation known for one of Africa's freest and most open constitutions, the Associated Press (AP) has reported. In a declaration published in all main Sunday newspapers, the South African National Editors Forum said media restrictions proposed by the ruling African National Congress threatened free expression that was the "lifeblood" of the country's democracy since the end of... MORE
August 5, 2010

Clampdown feared as journalist arrested in South Africa

The dramatic arrest of Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika at the newspaper's Johannesburg offices has sparked outrage in South Africa. Wa Afrika was whisked away Tuesday by at least eight members of the police priority crimes unit the Hawks - without an arrest warrant - on charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice, the newspaper reported on its website. Wa Afrika was driven off in an unmarked police car to Mpumalanga. He was arrested at the newspaper's head office in Rosebank... MORE
August 4, 2010

Reporter gets one year in jail on defamation and extortion charges in Côte d’Ivoire

A one-year jail sentence and fine of 5 million CFA francs has been slapped by an Abidjan criminal court on Traoré Médandjé, a leading reporter for the daily L'Intelligent d'Abidjan , on charges of defaming and trying to blackmail a former health ministry official. The case was prompted by an article headlined “Vavoua's illegal boutique clinics,” published on September 4, 2009, in which Médjandé accused then departmental director of health André Tia of getting rich by setting up many illegal... MORE
August 4, 2010

Journalist arrested over Kampala bomb blast story

Timothy Kalyegira, a former Daily Monitor columnist and current publisher of an online newspaper, Tuesday became the first Ugandan to face sedition charges arising from the use of new media, the Daily Monitor has reported. Police on Monday summoned Kalyegira to appear for interrogation over reports that questioned whether it was really the Somali-based militants, the al-Shabaab, that bombed and killed at least 80 people and injured others in Kampala last month. Some details: [ Link ] He was... MORE
August 4, 2010

Benin suspends RFI broadcasts, questions journalist

Benin suspended Radio France Internationale (RFI) broadcasts for 14 hours on Tuesday and questioned one of its journalists after it aired reports on accusations against the president, witnesses said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The reports aired over the weekend as the tiny West African country celebrated 50 years of independence from France, with some 10 African heads of state visiting for the occasion. The details: [ Link ] RFI broadcasts were interrupted shortly after midnight... MORE
August 3, 2010

Around 30 news media closed few days ahead of Rwandan presidential election

With just a week to go to a presidential election on 9 August, Rwandan authorities are openly flouting the rules of the democratic game. Press freedom violations, including the jailing of journalists, the closure of news media and the murder of a newspaper editor a month ago, have intensified in the run-up to the election. The government's latest repressive measure has been the suspension of some 30 news media by the Media High Council, the media regulatory body. Media High Council executive... MORE