Togo: Journalists, editors face insults and death threats

A journalist faces security forces, as they stand to prevent a crowd of several hundred journalists and members of the public from protesting in front of the Palais des Congres in Lome on February 19, 2013. Photo credit: Daniel Hayduk

The IFJ has condemned death threats and insults sent to journalists and editors in Togo as a result of reports and comments on the country’s political situation.
Amie Ekpe of the bimonthly L’Equipe Sportive and the President of the Togolese Media Observatory (OTM), Credo Tetteh, editor of the Weekly Le Medium, Eli Goka, a journalist at Radio Metropolys and journalist Firim Teko–Agbo were targeted during the latest attacks on media freedom in the country.
According to a joint press statement issued by IFJ affiliate, the Union of Independent Journalists of Togo (UJIT), alongside the Togolese Media Observatory (OTM), the National Council of Press Patrons (CONAPP) and the Union of Free Radios and Televisions (URATEL), pictures of the journalists and editors have been disseminated on social media and they have been stigmatized and threatened in relation to their work.   
The joint statement strongly condemned the threats. “We are outraged by the climate of terror and the attempts to intimidate journalists and deny them their rights to freedom of expression” it said.   
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger, said it is unacceptable to threaten the lives of journalists serving the public interest and the public’s right to know. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right which must be respected and guaranteed by all democratic societies. Journalists must be allowed to do their work based on these global principles without hindrance or threat. The media has an essential role to play in the democratic process and journalists and media workers must be allowed to do their work free from intimidation or harassment”.  
The IFJ also called on the Government of Togo to do everything possible to guarantee the safety and security of journalists in the country and to create an environment which will enable the media to develop and flourish.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 141 countries

Follow the IFJ on Twitter and Facebook

Subscribe to IFJ News