December 3, 2005
Niger court jails journalist for defamation
NIAMEY (Reuters) - A court in Niger has jailed a local
journalist for two months for publishing a report which
suggested the country's state treasurer could face charges of
Siddo Elhadj, who as state treasurer is a public servant in
charge of the treasury, filed a complaint after the privately
owned "Le Visionnaire" reported he might stand trial for
embezzling almost 17 billion CFA francs.
weekly's managing editor, late on Friday to pay a nominal 1 CFA
franc in damages to Elhadj.
Niger's government has said it plans to decriminalize
violations of press laws and is currently considering a bill to
amend the relevant legislation.
"In announcing this sentence, the justice system has taken
a great step back in freedom of expression and opinion in our
country," said Oumarou Keita, secretary general of Niger's
private journalists' union.