Togo journalists slam new punishment for media breaches

2015-11-03 18:07


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lome - Journalists in Togo on Tuesday slammed a new provision passed by parliament which threatens imprisonment for anyone found guilty of flouting the country's media regulations.

Eight media organisations said the law, passed late on Monday night, was "draconian" and undermined the existing code governing the industry.

The Togolese authorities were attempting "to muzzle the press", they charged, urging journalists and human rights activists to mobilise and fight for press freedoms.

According to the new provisions, publishing false, malicious and potentially defamatory information, causing or raising the likelihood of a breach of the peace can now be punished with six months to two years in jail.

It also provides for a fine of between 500 000 and two million CFA francs ($840).

The media and communication law, adopted in August 2004, decriminalised media infractions and subjected any breaches to fines only.

The revision is part of a new penal code designed to upgrade the existing document that dates back to 1980 and which contained a number of omissions.

Journalists and media bodies in Togo have previously criticised government attempts to stifle press criticism as heavy-handed.

In May, dozens of journalists staged a sit-in near police headquarters in Lome to demand the release of a colleague arrested for allegedly defaming the security minister.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks Togo 80th in its Press Freedom Index.

Independent media, particular online publications, had been blocked since the contested re-election of President Faure Gnassingbe in April, the group added.

Read more on:    faure gnassingbe  |  togo  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.