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Journalist detained despite decriminalisation of press law offences

(JED/IFEX) – On 6 June 2011, Faustin Bambou, editor of the privately owned daily "Les Collines de l'Oubangui", published in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, was transferred to the Ngaragba prison on the orders of the state prosecutor. He had already spent 10 days in detention at the Research and Investigation Division (Brigade de Recherche et d'Investigation, SRI) for "inciting violence and hatred".

According to JED's sources, Bambou published a series of articles incriminating National Defence Minister Francis Bozizé in a case of embezzlement and diversion of European Union funds intended to compensate retired soldiers and police officers.

JED roundly condemns the arbitrary arrest of Bambou, especially given that the Central African Republic previously decriminalised press law violations.

JED demands the journalist's immediate release and urges the government to respect its own laws.

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