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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.

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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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

A springtime for Burkina Faso’s press

The author, at left, is holding the mike for Upper Volta President Maurice Yaméogo in 1963. (Courtesy Roger Nikièma)

I will continue to relive for a long time August 5, 1960, the day Upper Volta, as Burkina Faso was then known, proclaimed independence from France! As a presenter of the newly founded national radio network, I was on the air, which was open to listeners all night. Some listeners, with tears of joy on their faces would enter the studio singing or reciting epic poems! As much as I loved the radio days of my debut in journalism, I have mixed feelings about the first decades following Independence.

July 21, 2010 5:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Yahoo France reacts to Burkina Faso e-mail death threats

A week ago today, CPJ sent a letter of concern to President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso urging his government to investigate a series of death threats sent in the past year or so via e-mail to independent journalists there. Using Yahoo France accounts, senders have boasted about intimidating the press in impunity by referencing the still-unsolved 1998 murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo

February 24, 2009 5:04 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso police question Zongo protesters

This morning, police in Burkina Faso summoned four leaders of a march over the weekend that called for a renewed investigation into the unsolved 1998 assassination of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo. Among those questioned was Jean-Claude Meda, the president of the Association of Journalists of Burkina Faso, who told me that he received a call from a police captain on Sunday evening. 

December 15, 2008 4:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Norbert Zongo's murder: No justice after 10 years

Ten years ago on Saturday, the bullet-ridden bodies of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo and three friends were found in Zongo's burned-out car outside the capital of Burkina Faso.

December 12, 2008 6:21 PM ET

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