OCCRP Report…. Niger Jails Two Journalists for Reporting about Hashish Trafficking

CANNANNEW REPORT

The director of a French language website and an independent journalist were convicted in a in Niger court on Monday for reporting about the findings of a Swiss-based NGO which claimed Niger to be a major hub for West African hashish traffickers who are colluding with military and political leaders. The director of a French language website and an independent journalist were convicted in a in Niger court on Monday for reporting about the findings of a Swiss-based NGO which claimed Niger to be a major hub for West African hashish traffickers who are colluding with military and political leaders. Moussa Aksar, the publication director of L’Événement Niger, a OCCRP member center in Niger, and reporter Samira Sabou were sentenced respectively to two and one months in prison. According to the prosecution, their crime was a broadcast last May, in which they reported on information shared in a report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). “We strongly denounce this decision which has absolutely no sense of form and which can only help to encourage drug trafficking and its promoters in substance,” said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Africa office manager Arnaud Froger. According to RSF, the sentence was particularly shocking because just last week Niger’s Central Office for the Repression of Illicit Narcotics Trafficking (OCRTIS) withdrew it’s complaint against the two at the urging of GI-TOC and it seemed that Aksar and Sabou were in the clear. According to GI-TOC, who had met with lawyers from OCRTIS and Niger’s public prosecution earlier last month, it was the public prosecutors who ended up pushing the jail sentences anyway. “While OCRTIS did in fact honor its commitment at the 27 December hearing, the public prosecution did not. Instead of following through on its undertaking, the prosecution asked for a jail term,” GI-TOC said in a statement this…

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Source : OCCRP Report…. Niger Jails Two Journalists for Reporting about Hashish Trafficking

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