The Paris-based press freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has urged the Somalia transitional federal government to publicly demonstrate its commitment to respect press freedom in Somalia after an historic four-day roundtable on freedom of expression was successfully held this week in Mogadishu by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
Reporters Without Borders has pledged to continue campaigning for justice in the 1998 murder of leading independent journalist Norbert Zongo after learning that the judge in charge of the investigation, Wenceslas Ilboudo, has dismissed the case against the only person ever charged.
"This is an outright scandal, a disgrace," the press freedom organisation said. "After eight years of campaigning, this decision makes the reign of impunity in Burkina Faso official. It is a terrible blow for all those citizens who have ceaselessly demanded to know the truth about this murder."
Reporters Without Borders continued: "This has always been a highly political case. Zongo was killed by members of the presidential guard. François Compaoré, the brother of President Blaise Compaoré, is implicated. The authorities never stopped protecting the killers. The president has got what he always wanted - injustice."
The organisation added: "Despite this decision , we will continue to campaign for justice in this case. We will never forget Norbert Zongo and we will press on tirelessly with our campaign alongside his family and friends."
Judge Ilboudo's decision to dismiss the case against presidential guard member Marcel Kafando - the only person ever charged with Zongo's murder - was issued yesterday at the request of the Faso public prosecutor, who claimed there was insufficient evidence against him.
Zongo family lawyer Bénéwendé Sankara said the decision meant the case was now closed and would remain so unless new evidence came to light. He intended to appeal, he added.
Zongo was an investigative journalist and editor of the weekly L'Indépendant. His charred body was found in his car on 13 December 1998. At the time of his death he had been investigating the circumstances in which David Ouédraogo, the chauffeur of President Compaoré's brother François, died at the hands of members of the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) after being arrested on suspicion of stealing from his employer.
Kafando was one of three RSP members who were convicted in August 2000 of kidnapping Ouédraogo and torturing him to death. The public prosecutor charged him in February 2001 with murder and arson in connection Zongo's death. But despite the gravity of the charges, Kafando was allowed to continue living at his home.
Written by Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, EXPO TIMES, Bristol
Monday, 26 June 2006 08:30
The International Press Institute (IPI) has been criticised by some African journalists who attended the special Africa caucus meeting at the organisations May 28-30 2006 Annual General Assembly and International conference for ignoring press freedom violations in countries such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and elsewhere in Africa in their resolution on the deteriorating press freedom situation in Africa.
The press freedom watch dog, Reporters Without Borders, has said it has published photographs showing the marks left on the body of a journalist from the blows he received from members of the National Guard while detained earlier this year in Gambia, where two journalists are still in detention.
The organisation noted that the journalist's identity and the circumstances of his imprisonment are known but are being withheld to protect him. Gambia's National Guard is an elite corps that is under President Yahya Jammeh's direct orders and has its headquarters next to the presidential building.
Condemning a broadcasting bill passed by Senegal's national assembly on 21 December as "poorly drafted, ambiguous, unfair and repressive," Reporters Without Borders has urged Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade to refuse to sign it into law in order to restore some calm to the ongoing debate about press law reform.Approved by just 11 votes to 2 in a 120-member parliament, the law would create a National Council for the Regulation of Broadcasting (CNRA) which, in Reporters Without Borders' view, would probably threaten press freedom.
UNICEF Reiterates - Allow All Pregnant Girls to Take Exams
Freetown 3 May2013 –UNICEF calls on everyone, parents, exam officials and head teachers in Sierra Leone to ensure pregnant girls are allowed and supported to take their exams. “It has come to our attention that last year a number of girls were either not entered for the exams or turned away from the exam hall by invigilators because they were pregnant”, said UNICEF Country Representative Roeland Monasch. “UNICEF would like to point out that this practice is highly discriminative.
The Freetown Court No.3 on May 6, 2013, charged Kasho Cole and Ibrahim Samura, Managing Editor and editor respectively of privately-owned Prime Newspaper, on eight counts of offences including criminal defamation for allegedly publishing an article about Lawyer Adekule King, an employee of the National Petroleum Directorate.
Hardly a day goes by without a news story on some violation of women’s rights. In recent months, appalling incidents of violence against women and girls, from Delhi to Johannesburg to Cleveland, have sparked public outrage and demands to tackle these horrific abuses.
BOYS SCHOOL CAMPUS, Magburaka Town, 17 May, 2013/--His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has confidently told the people of Magburaka that their township is on the rise. "Magburaka is rising again with paved roads, solar-lit streets. Magburaka is rising again, with employment opportunities opening up for its inhabitants; Magburaka is rising again, with renewed zeal, faith and action. And with the rise of this town, our school, the Government Secondary School Magburaka, will continue to sustain its heritage of producing sterling leaders for all fields of endeavours in our country", he said
Ambassador Foh speaks of how APC is sustained by the poor
Former Secretary-General of the governing All Peoples Congress, (APC) who was also recently appointed Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Victor Bockarie Foh has encouraged the new Secretary-General of the party, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh, “not to forget the down trodden as the APC is sustained by the poor.” He spoke on Thursday, 9th May 2013 at the APC Secretariat, whilst handing over to the newly elected Secretary-General of the party.
Sierra Leoneans in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last week held a one-day meeting of all their nationals in the commercial city of Dubai .At the end of the meeting, they officially formed what they called ‘The Sierra Leone Nationals' Association in the Emirates," (SLNAE) with Ibrahim Bah as their Acting Chairman