Benin ALERT: Journalists denied access to press conference

Media organisations in Benin denounced attempts by security forces to suppress press freedom in Benin following their refusal to allow journalists to cover a press conference.

The security forces said their refusal to allow the journalists to cover the press conference which took place at a private residence of a politician, was to prevent public disorder. On March 7, journalists were invited to a press conference at Djrègbé, about 32 kilometres from Cotonou, organised by Albert Tévoèdjrè, a Beninois politician. However, on reaching the place, they were refused entry by gendarmes who said the authorities had taken that measure to prevent public disorder.

The professional organizations comprising Deontology and Ethics Observatory in the Media, Union of Professionals in the Media of Benin, House of Media and National Council of Patronage of Benin explained that the action of the authorities amounted to preventing journalists from accessing a source of information and also constitutes a violation of the public’s right to information

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