Togo UPDATE: Journalist still in detention without trial

The managing editor of the privately owned Le Courrier du Citizen weekly newspaper, Sylvester Djahlin Nicoué, arrested on Thursday December 26, 2002, is still being been held at the Lomé Civil Prison without trial. Plain-clothes agents of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) picked up Nicoué in connection with an article the authorities considered seditious.

The article appeared four days after the amendment of the country’s Constitution on December 30, 2002, which makes it possible for Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema to remain President for life, allegedly suggested that Togolese must do everything to stop the perpetuation of Eyadema’s rule. The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) appeals to the authorities in Togo to immediately and unconditionally release the journalist, or follow the due process and bring him to fair trial if he is found to have breached the law.

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