16 October 2012

Togo: Nation Alert - Security Forces Manhandle Journalist

Photo: Telegramme228
Togolese journalists protest.

press release

Justin Anani, a journalist of the Crocodile weekly was on October 5, 2012 physically assaulted by police officers while covering their (police) clamp down on demonstrators belonging to opposition and human rights groups in Lome, the capital.

The assault on the journalist left him unconscious following a knock he received from one of the police officers, and was rushed to a hospital where he was revived.

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent, Anani and other journalists were covering a demonstration held by members of "Let's Save Togo Association" (CST) and the "Arc-en-Ciel" (Rainbow) Coalition to commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the October 5, 1990 uprising.

According to the correspondent, Anani was attacked while he and other colleagues had gone to the aid of a journalist who was being harassed by one of the security officers.

"A gendarme approached me without me noticing him and he elbowed me in my side (abdomen). I was not able to breathe well, and I fell down. I did not know what happened next, except that I woke up in the hospital later," Anani told the correspondent.

"At the moment, I feel pains in my knees and I also have difficulty breathing. When I walk, I get tired easily," said Anani who is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

The MFWA adds its voice in condemning this attack by calling on the Togolese authorities, especially the police hierarchy, to investigate this incident and take the necessary steps to ensure that their security officers act according to the laws of the country.

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