IFJ Condemns Threats and Intimidation against Journalists in Togo

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) denounced today the frequent threats and intimidations against the journalists in Togo. The Federation deplores the incident that occurred particularly on August 10, 2010 during which a French Army officer and adviser of the Chief of staff of the Togolese army threatened a local journalist in the capital of Togo.

“The attitude of the French officer towards the Togolese journalists is scandalous and shows the degree to which the journalists continue to be taken for scapegoat in the political crisis”, said Gabriel Baglo Director of IFJ Africa office. “The journalists do not need authorization to cover the public events within the framework of their role to inform the citizens”.

In official statements published on August 10 and 11, 2010 in Lome, the Union of Independent Journalists of Togo (UJIT) IFJ affiliate, mentioned with bitterness that “for a certain time, journalists are subject of intense intimidations, threats and even physical aggressions”.

The UJIT affirmed to be informed “of a plan aiming to eliminate physically some well targeted journalists of the press and radio, considered to be critical in their writings and during their broadcastsagainstthe party in power”.

On August 10 during confrontations between militants of the opposition and security forces, the Togolese journalist photographer Komi Agbedivlo alias Didier Ledoux was threatened by a colonel of the French Army who accused himof taking photographs of him without his agreement. The officer of the French Army threatened to break the camera of the journalist if he did not erase his picture or to call the commandos of the presidential guard (RCGP) “to put some order in it” and required of Togolese gendarmes to “jail him”, while speaking about the photographer, according to media which published the video of the scene.

In the last statement published, UJIT called on the French government to take adequate measures to avoid such incidents in the future.

The IFJ supports UJIT in its determination to make failure that the devilish plan to eliminate of journalists and on all political actors to put an endto the threats and intimidations against the journalists and to create the conditions for the journalists to work safely.



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