Listen to music while browsing

Togolese police assault photojournalist

By Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

NEW YORK, March 8, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Togo to investigate a report that police assaulted a photojournalist on Friday after he took photos of officers seizing a motorcycle during a protest, according to media reports and local journalists.

Koffi Djidonou Frédéric Attipou, a photojournalist with the weekly Le Canard Indépendant and the biweekly magazine Sika, told CPJ he was covering a protest over government human rights violations when he turned his camera to police confiscating a demonstrator's motorcycle nearby. Togolese police, facing numerous allegations of heavy-handed and abusive tactics, have had a number of recent confrontations with journalists covering their activities, according to news accounts and CPJ research.

Attipou said he suffered an eye injury when officers kicked him and struck him with batons. Two local press freedom groups, SOS Journaliste en Danger and Journalistes pour les Droits de l'Homme (JDHO), condemned the attack and called for an investigation.

In a telephone interview with CPJ, Minister of Security Colonel Dokissime Gnama Latta downplayed the assault as a "Little scratch." Latta acknowledged meeting with Attipou afterward, and he confirmed media reports that police gave the journalist about 50,000 CFA francs (US$98) to pay for medical treatment.

"Togolese police and security forces have a record of abusing journalists," said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. "Koffi Djidonou Frédéric Attipou's report warrants a serious probe and his assailants should be brought to justice to send a clear signal that authorities will not tolerate such behavior."

Last year, the United Nations Human Rights Committee urged Togolese authorities to "thoroughly investigate" any "infringement on the freedom of thought and expression of journalists and human rights defenders or any attack on their integrity."

"Those who commit such acts must be prosecuted and subject to criminal penalties," the human rights committee said.

Do not tread on an existing path; create your path and tread to leave a mark.
By: [email protected]

International community 'alarmed' a

Burundian refugees arrive at the reception center of Gasora in Bugesera on April 3, 2015.  By Stephanie Aglietti (AFP) Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bujumbura (Burundi) (AFP) - The international community is alarmed at tensions i ...
read more »

Togo kicks off presidential electio

Opposition supporters demonstrate in Lome on December 12, 2014, calling for political reforms before the elections.  By Emile Kouton (AFP) Friday, April 10, 2015

Lome (AFP) - Togo officially began its presidential election campaign on Friday ...
read more »

Togo: 48 years of the Gnassingbe dy

Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe waves to supporters during the Union for the Republic's national gathering in Kara on February 25, 2015.  By Emile Kouton (AFP/File) Monday, April 20, 2015

Lome (AFP) - Togo, governed by Gnassingbe Eyadema with an iron grip for 38 years ...
read more »

Togo's Gnassingbe favourite to win

A man holds a poster displaying Togolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Fabre on April 11, 2015 in Lome.  By Emile Kouton (AFP/File) Monday, April 20, 2015

Lome (AFP) - Togo elects a new president on Saturday, with the main opposition l ...
read more »