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Court lifts sanctions against weekly "La Voix"

(RSF/IFEX) - On 6 January 2010, a court in the capital N'Djamena found the privately-owned weekly "La Voix" not guilty of charges against it and lifted a provisional order for automatic seizure of all copies of the paper made on 3 December 2009. An appeal will be heard on 13 January.

"We are already preparing our next issue and we think we should be able to publish again from 12 January," the editor, Eloi Miandadji, told Reporters Without Borders. "We also have high hopes for a decision in our favour on appeal."

On 6 January, the lower court discharged the case "for reasons of ineligibility." The newspaper's lawyer, Jean-Bernard Padaré, told Agence France-Presse (AFP), "It is a victory for the law and proof that 'La Voix' is legally constituted."

"The hounding of 'La Voix' had, with the seizure of copies of the paper but above all the abduction of its editor [Innocent Ebodé] and its accountant, taken on unacceptable and disturbing proportions," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "We welcome with great relief a ruling that finally puts right an injustice," it added.

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