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Police officer threatens radio journalists

(MFWA/IFEX) - Ben Issoufou Mohammed and Moussa Inne, journalists of Sahara FM, a privately-owned radio station based in Agadez, a town of about 1000 km north of Niamey, capital of Niger, were on January 10, 2008 threatened by a police officer stationed at the town's police station.

The police officer told the journalists: "You are hypocrites and accomplices; I wish you (would) suffer the same fate as your colleague who drove over a landmine in Niamey", referring to the killing of Abdou Mahamane, director of Radio R & M (Radio and Music), the first independent radio station in Niger, in a landmine explosion on January 9 (see IFEX alert of 10 January 2008).

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that the journalists had gone to the station to cross check some information.

Earlier on January 8, a similar threat was issued via telephone to another journalist, the editor of Bonferey FM, Abdoul Karim Hassouni, by an activist of the ruling MNSD party. The activist, Fati Salha, accused Hassouni of giving a tape to "The Republican" newspaper.

"The Republican", a privately-owned newspaper, had produced an audio recording of a meeting in which the former Prime Minister of Niger, Hama Amadou, is alleged to have incited party youth to violence.

MFWA condemns these threats on journalists following the recent red alert issued, which empowers the country's security agencies to act in the wake of the Tuareg Rebellion that was launched in the middle of 2007.

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