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Newspaper editor held incommunicado

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 30 July 2008, Moussa Aksar, editor of the "L'Evènement", a Niamey-based independent weekly newspaper, was arrested and detained by the Niamey police Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

MFWA's correspondent reported that Aksar, who was picked up around 1800 GMT, has been denied visitors, in accordance with the county's Criminal Code which permits citizens to be held incommunicado for a period not exceeding 24 hours.

The correspondent said although the police have not given any reasons for the journalist's arrest and subsequent detention, these may be linked to a story that "L'Evènement" published about an arms cache that was found in a suburb of Niamey, which the newspaper claimed belongs to an officer of the national army.

The story, published in the 29 July edition of the newspaper, named the officer as a certain Abdoulaye Mounkaila, who is currently on training in Cameroon.

In the same article, "L'Evènement" also alleged that Mounkaila, a former deputy presidential commander, played a key role in the April 1999 assassination of General Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, ex- head of state of Niger.

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