The Union of Independent Journalists of Togo (UJIT) in a statement to the Togolese authorities demanded protection of its members to enable them carry out their legitimate duties without fear or intimidation.
The statement said while some of its members had been threatened with telephone calls, certain radio stations and newspapers had been under surveillance, from persons suspected to be security operatives.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent in Togo reported that nine members of the UJIT had been targeted for expressing their opinions on various radio stations.
Two of the journalists were Francis Pédro Amuzun and Justin Anani of privately-owned Le Crocodile newspaper. The others are Zeus Aziadouvo of Liberté, Olivier Glakpé, Le Correcteur, Jérôme Sossou, Triangle des Enjeux, Augustin Amega, Le Canard Indépendant, Ferdinand Ayité, Journal Alternative, Isidore Akolor, Actu Express and Marcel Agbédokou of Radio X solaire.
Following the threats, Justin Anani went briefly into hiding for fear of his life.
The UJIT also condemned an August 10 threats issued by a French military officer to Komi Agbédivlo, a reporter of the privately-owned Liberté daily newspaper. The officer had forced the reporter to delete a photograph of him during a demonstration.
“This regrettable action by an officer from a country like France, whose authorities do not hide their commitment to the virtue of human rights, may compromise efforts made in recent times to ensure better cohabitation of the security forces and journalists in Togo,” the statement said.