The International Federation of Journalists has today condemned the police attack against a freelance journalist Noel Tadegnon in Togo who was assaulted by security forces and had his camera confiscated.
«We strongly condemn the attack against journalist Noël Tadegnon and call on the police to give back his working equipment. We also urge the authorities in Togo to thoroughly investigate the case so as to hold those responsible for this aggression accountable, » said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office.
The victim Noel Tadegnon who works for Reuters Television and TV7 witnesses that on April 27th he was covering in Lomé a demonstration organized by the members of the association « Sauvons le Togo/Save Togo » as part of the celebrations of the Independence Day. A police chief asked him why he was only shooting the police.
"I said I was not only filming police. The chief ordered to confiscate my camera. I then was pulled in by police. I had head injury after a hard knock out. I fell unconscious. When I regain consciousness, I realized that my camera disappeared. Two colleagues brought me to the hospital where prescription for medicine was issued after a scan operation. I stayed there for two days before being freed, but I still suffer from headache," explains Tadegnon.
"We condemn this situation which put journalists' security and press freedom to the test. Government and security forces must protect journalists while on assignment," said Crédo Tetteh, Secretary General of the Union of Independent Journalists of Togo (USIT in French) an IFJ affiliate.
UJIT and National council of media managers met with authorities of Ministry for Civilian Safety, Police and High Authority for Communication and Audiovisual to protest against this attack.
The IFJ calls on the Togolese authorities to sensitize the police on the role of the media in order to put an end to the violence against journalists in Togo.