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Killers of journalist Norbert Zongo still not brought to justice nine years after his death

(WAN/IFEX) - The following is a WAN letter to President Blaise Compaore:

His Excellency Blaise Compaore
President of Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

7 December 2007

Your Excellency,

On the ninth anniversary of the murder of journalist Norbert Zongo, we are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 102 countries, to express our serious concern at the continued failure of the police and courts to bring his killers to justice.

Mr Zongo was an investigative journalist and editor of the weekly L'Indépendant. His charred body was found in his car on 13 December 1998.

At the time of his death he had been investigating the circumstances in which David Ouédraogo, the chauffeur of your brother François, died at the hands of members of the Presidential Security Regiment after being arrested on suspicion of stealing from his employer.

We are seriously concerned that, after nine years, the failure to bring Mr Zongo's murderers to justice only increases the appearance of political influence in the judicial process and adds to suspicions that the killers have, in effect, been granted impunity.

We respectfully call on you to ensure that the political protection apparently being afforded to Mr Zongo's murderers is removed and that a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out. We urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure that the killers and all those who have protected them are swiftly brought to justice.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin O'Reilly
President
World Association of Newspapers

George Brock
President
World Editors Forum

Cc: Ms Benita Ferrero-Waldner
External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner of the EU
Brussels, Belgium

WAN is the global organization for the newspaper industry, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 newspapers in 102 countries, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups. WAN is non-governmental and non-profit.

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His Excellency Blaise Compaore
President of Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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