Critical journalist badly beaten by unidentified assailants

New York, October 11, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists voiced alarm today at the savage beating of publication director Dimas Dzikodo, whose weekly Le Forum de la Semaine is strongly critical of Togolese authorities. Unidentified attackers knocked Dzilan from his motorcycle on Sunday in the capital Lomé and beat him, local sources told CPJ. They sprayed an unidentified liquid from an aerosol can into his face and forced him to drink another liquid, which he managed to spit out. Dzikodo was taken to a hospital where he is still recovering.

“Togolese authorities must investigate this assault fully and prosecute those responsible,” said Ann Cooper, executive director of CPJ. “This kind of brazen attack cannot go unpunished.”

Dzikodo has been previously targeted for his journalistic work. In June 2003, while editor of the now defunct L’Evènement, he was arrested at an Internet café while scanning photographs of people allegedly mistreated by security forces during 2003 presidential elections. Dzikodo was jailed for more than two weeks along with two other journalists.