Kaka, a veteran radio journalist distinguished for his exclusive coverage of several armed rebellions of nomadic Tuaregs in northern Niger since the 1990s, was arrested on charges of “complicity in a conspiracy endangering the authority of the state,” over alleged links with an armed Tuareg uprising since February.
Calling Kaka a “bandit” (the government’s term for the rebels) under the guise of a journalist, government spokesman Ben Omar Mohamed told CPJ in September that the charges were not linked to journalism.
The charges, based on recordings of telephone conversations between the journalist and rebel leader Agali Alambo, included allegations that Kaka had negotiated payment with Alambo for footage and photos, according to defense lawyer Moussa Coulibaly and local journalists. Kaka had done exclusive interviews with rebel leaders and taken photos that were reprinted in several newspapers in the capital, Niamey, in July.
In November, a Niamey court dismissed the recordings on the grounds that they were illegally obtained, but Kaka remained behind bars pending a government appeal, according to Coulibaly and local journalists.