Tiémogo, publisher and editor-in-chief of the satirical weekly Le Canard Déchaîné, was arrested for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Hama Amadou in a series of unflattering opinion pieces. Tiémogo accused the prime minister of attempting to bribe Mahamane Ousmane, the head of Niger’s Parliament, in a bid to retain his position. According to Tiémogo’s stories, Amadou offered 6 million CFA francs (US$9,000), which Ousmane reportedly refused. Tiémogo appeared in court on June 19 and was ordered held without bail, said sources in the capital, Niamey.
On June 28, the journalist was convicted of libel and sentenced to eight months in prison. He was also ordered to pay a 50,000 CFA franc (US$75) fine. In addition, Tiémogo was ordered to pay Amadou 1 million CFA francs (US$1,500) in damages.
According to CPJ sources, after his conviction, Tiémogo sent a letter of apology to the judge conceding that the articles’ allegations were unfounded. Though Tiémogo appealed the conviction, on November 11, the Niamey Appeals Court upheld his sentence.