Minister threatens four journalists

NOVEMBER 21, 2006
Posted: December 27, 2006

Maka Gbossokotto, Le Citoyen
Jacob Guilio Kamandoko, Le Centrafriqu’Un,
Mathurin Constant Nestor Momet, Le Confident
Michel Alkhaly Ngady, Les Temps Nouveaux


Gbossokotto, director of the private daily Le Citoyen, Kamandoko, director of the private weekly Le Centrafriqu’Un, Momet, director of private daily Le Confident and Ngady, director of the private weekly Les Temps Nouveaux, were threatened with death by Mines Minister Sylvain Noutingaï as they prepared to attend a press conference of UNDP in the capital Bangui, according to local journalists and news reports.

Noutingaï was quoted by local and international media as saying: “You are the ones betraying the country! You are the ones betraying the country. Ah! You will see! You will die like flies, like chicken.”

Threats, harassment and intimidation of private media journalists, including by government officials, surged after rebel forces captured the northeastern town of Birao at the end of October, according to local and international news reports. The media was attacked for its critical reporting of the conflict, according to the same sources.

The journalists filed a complaint against Noutingaï with the state prosecutor, local journalists told CPJ.