Newspaper editor freed after being given suspended prison sentence

first_img RSF_en Follow the news on Niger July 16, 2020 Find out more Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that Zakari Alzouma, the editor the independent weekly Opinions, was released yesterday but is astonished that he was given a three-month suspended prison sentence for supposedly libelling interior minister Albadé Abouba.Alzouma was arrested on 30 October in response to a complaint by the interior minister about an article reporting that he “took advantage” of Prime Minister Seini Oumarou’s absence to award a US company a contract for the transport of pilgrims to Mecca that had already assigned to a local air transport company.The local company, Sahel Airlines, sued the government and won its case. A Niamey court upheld the original contract and quashed the one with the US company.———————-4.11 – Newspaper editor “caught in the act” of libel, held for past five daysReporters Without Borders calls for the release of Zakari Alzouma, the editor the independent weekly Opinions, who has been detained since 30 October in Niamey as a result of a libel complaint by the interior minister and whose case will not be heard for another week.“Niger’s legislation on press offences comes in handy for a government that does not want to give up its bad habits,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By continuing to send journalists to prison, the authorities are just putting off the day when they will finally have to abandon their repressive ways. Furthermore, this kind of case puts Niger’s judges in embarrassing and contradictory situations resulting in absurdities.”Alzouma was formally charged yesterday with being “caught in the act” of libel although he had already spent four days in police custody. He was due to appear in court in Niamey today but the hearing was postponed to 11 November on grounds that a piece of prosecution evidence was missing.In the meantime, Alzouma has been placed in pre-trial custody in the main Niamey prison, with the result that he will have spent at least 13 days in detention by the time his case is finally heard.His lawyer told Reporters Without Borders he was “very shocked by the postponement, which is completely unwarranted.” He said he also failed to understand the prosecutors’ refusal, without offering any reason, to agree to Alzouma’s conditional release. “Zakari Alzouma is charged with a press offence, not a crime,” he said. “There is no reason for keeping him in detention.”Alzouma is being prosecuted because of an article claiming that interior minister Albadé Abouba “took advantage” of Prime Seini Oumarou’s absence to award a US company a contract for the transport of pilgrims to Mecca that had already promised to a local company. November 27, 2020 Find out more News News Reports Help by sharing this information center_img Niger: Two journalists arrested in disturbing setback for press freedom to go further November 12, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Newspaper editor freed after being given suspended prison sentence NigerAfrica May 11, 2021 Find out more The conviction of Niger newspaper editor Moussa Aksar is an attack on investigative journalism Receive email alerts News NigerAfrica last_img read more

Files to be kept on Internet-users going online in cybercafés

first_img Follow the news on United Arab Emirates April 29, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Files to be kept on Internet-users going online in cybercafés RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News RSF joins other NGOs in amicus brief in WhatsApp suit against NSO Group Reporters Without Borders today voiced concern over a move by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates to monitor people going online in cybercafés.The daily Emarat al Yaoum reported yesterday on an interior ministry plan to check the identity of anyone using the Internet in public places. The step was justified by the fight against cyber-crime and child pornography. “The fight against cyber-crime and child pornography is a legitimate one, but this step constitutes a real risk for respect of freedom of expression online”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.“The real reason for this decision is obviously the desire to keep files on the country’s netizens, watch them and push them into self-censorship.”The move to keep Internet-users under observation comes at the same time as a population census is being held in the countries of the UAE along with a standardisation of ID cards for all citizens. The United Arab Emirates is on Reporters Without Borders’ list of countries under surveillance on its “Internet Enemies” report (http://en.rsf.org/surveillance-united-arab-emirates,36668.html). The authorities have set up effective filtering and on the pretext of blocking pornographic websites, they have made thousands of sites on a wide range of subjects inaccessible. June 8, 2021 Find out more December 23, 2020 Find out more April 28, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en center_img United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa United Arab EmiratesMiddle East – North Africa Receive email alerts NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say News News Organisation News to go furtherlast_img read more