Benin / Africa


Benin journalist Virgile Ahouansè held for 2 days, charged with spreading false news

Dakar, January 10, 2023 — Beninese authorities should drop the false news charges against journalist Virgile Ahouansè and ensure that members of the press do not face legal harassment for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. On December 19, an officer with the police criminal brigade called Ahouansè, news director of the…

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Why the UN’s push for a cybercrime treaty could imperil journalists simply for using the internet

Cybercrime is on the global agenda as a United Nations committee appointed to develop a treaty on the topic plans for its first meeting amid pandemic-related delays. The process is slated to take at least two years, but experts warn that such a treaty – initially proposed by Russia – could hand new tools to…

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In Benin, growing fears over law that can jail journalists for posting news online

Posting on Facebook from Benin’s Central Office for Repression of Cybercrime on November 18, journalist Patrice Gbaguidi wrote that authorities had summoned him for a second time in two weeks over a defamation complaint about one of his articles. That day, he and Hervé Alladé, the owner of Le Soleil Bénin Infos newspaper where Gbaguidi…

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Number of journalists behind bars reaches global high

Editor’s note: Numbers for each prison census are adjusted yearly as CPJ learns of arrests, releases, or deaths in prison. The numbers for CPJ’s 2021 census have been revised from 293 to 302 in accordance with this policy. For the most recent data, see The number of journalists jailed around the world set another record…

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Benin regulator orders online media ‘without authorization’ to halt publication

New York, August 4, 2020 — Benin’s media regulator should lift its ban on unauthorized online media and refrain from censoring news websites, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On July 7, Rémi Prosper Moretti, the president of Benin’s High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC), the country’s media regulator, issued an order demanding…

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A police officer is seen in Cotonou, Benin, on March 9, 2018. A court recently shortened journalist Ignace Sossou’s jail term, but did not free him. (AFP/Yanick Folly)

Benin appeals court shortens journalist Ignace Sossou’s jail term

New York, May 19, 2020 — In response to today’s decision by a Beninese appeals court to shorten journalist Ignace Sossou’s sentence to six months’ imprisonment and a six-month suspended sentence, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

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A vendor wears a mask as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Cotonou on April 8, 2020. CPJ and partner organizations called for the release of Beninese journalist Ignace Sossou on appeal. (Yanick Folly/AFP)

CPJ, partners call for release of Beninese journalist Ignace Sossou on appeal

New York, April 27, 2020—Today the group of undersigned organizations called on authorities in Benin to immediately release imprisoned journalist Ignace Sossou on appeal and ensure that he does not continue to face undue risk of coronavirus exposure in ongoing detention.

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CPJ, 80 media and rights groups urge African heads of state to release jailed journalists

CPJ and 80 media, press freedom, and human rights organizations write to African heads of state to call on their respective governments to release all jailed journalists amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Patrice Talon, the president of Benin, during a conference co-organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on sustainable development and debt in Diamniadio, Senegal, on December 2, 2019. Authorities in Benin on December 20 arrested journalist Ignace Sossou on a defamation complaint filed by a government minister. (AFP/Seyllou)

Benin authorities arrest journalist Ignace Sossou, question him about Facebook posts

Vancouver, Canada, December 23, 2019 — Authorities in Benin should immediately release and halt efforts to intimidate journalist Ignace Sossou and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Protesters from two of Benin's unions take part in a demonstration after the parliament approved a law restricting to 10 days public sector employees’ right to strike, on September 13, 2018, in Cotonou. Journalist Ignace Sossou convicted of false news in Benin on August 12, 2019. (AFP/Yanick Folly)

Journalist Ignace Sossou convicted of false news in Benin

New York, August 23, 2019–The government of Benin should act to decriminalize press offenses, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today, after journalist Ignace Sossou was convicted of false news for reporting on corporate finances.

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