IFJ Condemns Attack on Journalist by Brothers of Togo’s President

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the attack on Yves Kpeto, a journalist for private radio station Nana Fm, who was beaten by brothers of the President of the Republic of Togo on accusations he had criticized their father, the previous president.

On Sunday November 5 at around 7 p.m., two brothers of President Faure Gnassingbé, who are also sons of the late President Gnassingbé Eyadema, attacked Kpeto at a party in the Agoényivé district of Lomé. They accused Kpeto and his colleagues of constant criticism of their father and biased coverage of events after his death.

This is the latest case of journalist harassment involving the president’s family.

Last September, after the broadcast of a statement of football clubs opposed to a decision of the Togolese Federation of Football (FTF) a journalist from the radio station Radio Sport FM was harassed by men working for Lieutenant Colonel Rock Balakiyem Gnassingbé, President of the FTF and another brother of the president.

"We condemn this attack," said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "Nobody is above the law and no one has the right to take the law into his own hands. The Togolese authorities must make sure that these men are held accountable for their actions and that the President’s family members are not allowed to intimidate and harass journalists.”

The Togolese union of independent journalists (UJIT), the Association of Free Radios and TV of Togo (URATEL) and the Togolese media regulatory body (OTM) protested against this aggression and intend to take appropriate action on this case in the coming days.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries