Niger Cracks Down on Independent Media

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October 29, 1998


General Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara
President of the Republic of Niger
Niamey, Niger

 

Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) writes to strongly protest two decisions by the Superior Council on Communications (CSC) which seriously impede the ability of journalists to report the news.

On October 28, 1998, Daouda Diallo, president of the CSC, announced at a press conference that, starting on October 31, 1998, all newspapers that do not have a chief editor who holds a professional journalist's license would be suspended. Diallo also announced at the press conference that private radio stations would no longer be permitted to air foreign radio broadcasts during their news programs.

As a nonpartisan organization of journalists committed to the defense of press freedom worldwide, CPJ is deeply alarmed by these actions, which are designed to increase government control of information, and to suppress critical news and opinion. These dual actions by the CSC constitute a violation of the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 9 of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, to all of which, we respectfully remind Your Excellency, Niger is a signatory.

CPJ strongly urges Your Excellency to ensure that the CSC reverses its decision, taking into account that its actions will restrict the free flow of information, and violate Niger's treaty obligations to respect press freedom. Furthermore, we respectfully ask you to communicate to all government officials in Niger that journalists' right to practice their profession freely and without reprisal must be respected.

 

Sincerely,

Ann K. Cooper

Executive Director



Join CPJ in Protesting Attacks on the Press in Niger

Send a letter to:

General Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara
President of the Republic of Niger
Niamey, Niger

Fax: 227-72-2245
also: 227-72-272
also: 227-72-2336