Abdoulkarim, director of the private newspaper Le Visionnaire, was placed in “preventive detention” at police headquarters in the capital, Niamey, after State Treasurer Siddo Elhadj brought a criminal defamation suit against him. Abdoulkarim was transferred to prison on November 17 and denied bail pending his trial.
Abdoulaye Massalaki, president of Niger’s journalist union, told CPJ that preventive detention for journalists charged with defamation is allowed under Niger’s 1999 press law.
Elhadj brought the suit over an article in Le Visionnaire that accused him of embezzling 17 billion CFA francs (US$30 million) in government funds. On December 2, a Niamey court sentenced Abdoulkarim to two months in jail.