Government bans critical radio journalist from broadcast

Government bans critical radio journalist from broadcast

FEBRUARY 19, 2008

Posted March 10, 2008

Daniel Lawson-Drackey, Nana FM

Togo’s Broadcast and Communication High Authority (known by its French acronym, HAAC) summarily banned all editorials and commentary of veteran journalist and media activist Daniel Lawson-Drackey on private station Nana FM, according to local journalists and news reports.

The ruling, a copy of which was obtained by CPJ, accused Drackey’s news commentary and analysis of violating journalistic ethics, but did not detail the incriminated comments. Local journalists believed the ruling was an attempt to silence Drackey for his critical opinions.

Francis Pedro Amuzun, head of the Togolese Media Observatory, told CPJ that HAAC issued the ruling without a court order as required by Togolese press law. It was the second consecutive year Drackey, the president of Maison du Journalisme, an independent journalists’ resource center, was banned from broadcasting, according to CPJ research.

Agence de Presse Africaine, a pan-African news agency, quoted HAAC President Philip Evégnon as saying that certain unnamed Togolese media were running stories “of a nature to harm the dignity of certain citizens.”

“For several weeks now, newsrooms only evoke the tirades” between President Faure Gnassingbé and his brother, member of parliament Kpatcha Gnassingbé, as well as the problems of the Togolese soccer association, FTF, he added.