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African Court upholds appeal against criminal defamation

Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's ruling by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights in Addis Ababa that criminal defamation should be used only in restricted circumstances and that imprisonment for defamation violates freedom of expression. The court also upheld the appeal of Issa Lohé Konaté, editor of the Burkina Faso-based weekly L'Ouragan, who in October 2012 was sentenced to 12 months in prison and a fine for criminal defamation in connection with two articles he wrote questioning abuse of power by the state prosecutor's office.

Statements   |   Burkina Faso

Press in Burkina Faso must be protected amid anti-government protests

Protesters demonstrate against a proposed amendment to Burkina Faso's constitution that would allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his term. (AFP/Issouf Sanogo)

Lagos, Nigeria, October 30, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that protesters stormed and looted the offices of Burkina Faso's national broadcaster Radiodiffusion Television du Burkina in the capital, Ouagadougou, today. Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest a constitutional amendment that would allow President Blaise Compaore to seek re-election next year, according to reports.

Case   |   Burkina Faso

Police in Burkina Faso seize journalist's camera, deletes images

A police officer on July 24, 2014, seized the camera of Hippolyte Sama, a photojournalist with the independent newsmagazine Fasozine, while he was photographing relatives of victims of an Air Algeria plane that crashed in northern Mali, according to news reports.

July 28, 2014 12:47 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Jailed Burkinabe journalist appeals to African Court

Lohé Issa Konaté (Lydia Ouédraogo)

Journalist Lohé Issa Konaté has been imprisoned in Burkina Faso since he was convicted in October of criminal defamation over articles in private weekly L'Ouragan alleging corruption and abuse of power at the office of the public prosecutor. In May, an appeals court rejected his appeal and upheld the 12-month sentence, according to defense counsel Halidou Ouedraogo. Now, after exhausting all domestic legal remedies, Konaté has filed a complaint with the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights in Tanzania. 

Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso state media journalists protest censorship

Journalists working for state media protest Tuesday in front of the Communications Ministry in Ouagadougou against authorities' meddling in their work. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

In Burkina Faso, tens of journalists from state media today held a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Communications in the capital Ouagadougou to protest what they deem to be excessive government censorship of news coverage.

Case   |   Burkina Faso

Authorities in Burkina Faso suspend newspaper

Burkina Faso's state-run media regulatory agency imposed a seven-day suspension on private daily Le Quotidien on December 13, 2012, after accusing its editor of repeatedly violating the press law, according to news reports.

Alerts   |   Burkina Faso

Burkinabe journalist convicted for criminal defamation

New York, October 31, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the criminal convictions of two journalists and the suspension of their newspaper in Burkina Faso on charges of criminal defamation in connection with their allegations of corrupt practices in the state prosecutor's office.

October 31, 2012 3:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Samuel Kiendrebeogo: 1949-2012

Samuel Kiendrebeogo (Courtesy Voice of America)

The African media community lost a central voice this week with the passing of Samuel Kiendrebeogo, the veteran host of weekly media magazine Médias d'Afrique et D'Ailleurs on Voice of America's French service. Sam, as he was known, died while vacationing in his native Burkina Faso. He was 63.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso

In Norbert Zongo case, 12 years of impunity

A poster for this week's commemoration.

For Geneviève Zongo, every December 13 revives excruciating memories of the loss of her husband Norbert Zongo, editor of the weekly L'Indépendant. He was assassinated in 1998 while investigating the murder of a driver working at Burkina Faso's presidential palace. More painful still is that the killers who ambushed Zongo's car, riddling it with bullets and torching it, have never been brought to justice.

December 14, 2010 4:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Africa's path to press freedom goes online

The author

Fifty years ago, development journalism helped to silence dissenting voices: One had to rally to the fathers of the nation for the sake of national unity. Accordingly, the legacy of these 50 years of Francophone media in Africa is freedom of the press and opinion. Journalists prod the elites, who are allergic to criticism, and require that they account for their handling of power and assume responsibility in the face of the various scandals they cause. Recently in Burkina Faso for instance, a government minister had to resign after the print media revealed his extramarital affair with a married woman. This was unthinkable a few years ago. 

August 12, 2010 12:27 PM ET

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