Niger - Time to release Moussa Kaka, arrested exactly six months ago



    MONTREAL, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Niger Association of Independent
Press Editors (ANEPI) and the Network of Journalists for Human Rights (RJDH) -
two Niamey-based organisations - have joined Reporters Without Borders in
signing an appeal for the release of Moussa Kaka, the Niger correspondent of
Radio France Internationale (RFI), who was arrested in Niamey on 20 September,
exactly six months ago.
    The text of the appeal:
    "This is Moussa Kaka in Niamey for RFI." No one has heard this sign-off
for the past six months. A well-known and respected journalist is no longer
able to talk about his country. Africans who live with an ear glued to a radio
set no longer have someone talking to them from Niamey. Niger has fallen
silent.
    It is Moussa Kaka who has become a news item, as he is now in prison. For
the past six months, his name has only been heard in radio and TV broadcasts
when presenters have reported the bad news that he is still detained.
    We are journalists. We know that this is a difficult job, in Europe as in
Africa. It is often thankless. It can be dangerous. It is often irritating for
governments. But it is indispensable if you want to let a country continue to
live and breathe. "If you want honey, you have to have the courage to deal
with bees," the Senegalese say.
    Six months is enough. It is time Niger returned to the fold of democratic
African nations. Freeing Moussa Kaka would rid Niger of the dark clouds that
been oppressing it for the past six months. It would free Niger of the weight
of suspicion and reproach. It would release Niger from a crisis that has
dragged on too long.

    Reporters Without Borders
    Niger Association of Independent Press Editors (ANEPI)
    Network of Journalists for Human Rights (RJDH)

    As of today, Reporters Without Borders and RFI have received
2244 messages of support for Moussa Kaka at these two addresses:
moussa@rsf.org and liberezmoussa@rfi.fr
    The three organisations also reaffirm their solidarity with Boubacar
Gourouza, the editor of the independent fortnightly L'Eveil Plus, who was
sentenced to a month in prison on 6 March because of an editorial that
allegedly "discredited" a court decision by comparing two verdicts. He is in
the same prison as Moussa Kaka.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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