5 March 2013

West Africa: Niger Alert - Police Officers Violently Assault Journalists

press release

Four journalists belonging to privately-owned media organisations were on February 15, 2013, physically attacked by police officers who violently disrupted a peace march organised by members of the Educational Unions' Permanent Consultation and Action Framework (CPRASE).

The officers drawn from the Nigerien Police Service also confiscated the journalists' camera.

The four, Souleymane Ousmane and Issaka Lawali, journalist and cameraman with Bonferey Radio and Televison, Hadiza Amadou, of Dounia Radio and Television (RTD) and Nassa Seydou, of Ténéré Radio and Television were attacked while covering the protest march.

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent, the police officers chased out the journalists, threw tear gas at them and beat up the crew from RTD, before seizing their camera.

The correspondent said the attack resulted in varying degrees of injuries to some members of the CPRASE while others were arrested and detained for hours.

The MFWA joins the media professional groups in Niger to strongly denounce this barbaric act which connotes a clear violation of media freedom and citizens' rights to peacefully demonstrate.

The MFWA calls on the government and the police authorities to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to book.

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