Equatorial Guinea - Malabo's only foreign press correspondent held for the past 48 hours



    MONTREAL, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders calls for the
immediate release of Rodrigo Angue Nguema, the Malabo correspondent of Agence
France-Presse (AFP) and Radio France Internationale (RFI), who was jailed on
17 July in the capital's notorious Black Beach prison on a charge of reporting
false information.
    "No date has yet been set for Nguema's trial and it is incomprehensible
that he should be held in the meantime like a common bandit," Reporters
Without Borders said. "We are very worried about what will happen to him as
Black Beach prison is known for its violence. His imprisonment is typical of
the way the authorities hound journalists in this country, which shows no
respect for press freedom."
    Plain-clothes police escorted a handcuffed Nguema to Black Beach prison
at midday on 17 June on the orders of Malabo investigating judge Agustin
Chicampo because he was unable to post bail of 20 million CFA francs (30,000
euros). His wife has not been able to see him since he was jailed.
    Criminal libel charges were brought against Nguema because of a report
carried by both AFP and RFI in April in which he said the head of the national
airline Ceiba, Gambian citizen Mamadou Jaye, had embezzled 3.5 billion CFA
francs (5 million euros) and skipped the country.
    Jaye immediately denied it to AFP and RFI and Nguema acknowledged that
his information was wrong. He said he got it from rumours circulating online
and thought he had confirmed it by talking to local sources, above all at
Malabo airport.
    Jaye is suing Nguema for 5 million euros in damages, the amount he was
alleged to have embezzled in Nguema's report.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4188, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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