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Managing editor of privately-owned newspaper fears for his safety, goes into exile, following his criticism of president

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 26 August 2008, Abdoulaye Tiémogo, managing editor of "Le Canard déchaîné", a privately-owned Niamey-based newspaper, allegedly escaped into exile for fear for his life.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that before fleeing he alleged that police personnel drawn from the Criminal Investigation's Department (CID) mounted a search in Niamey for his arrest. Tiémogo had also alleged that some unknown group had threatened him with death.

Tiémogo had been very critical of President Mamadou Tandja, in an ongoing debate in the country about amending the Nigerien Constitution to allow President Tandja to run for a third term in office.

In its 25 August issue, "Le Canard déchaîné" brought a new angle to the debate by claiming in an article that President Tandja intends to handover to his son Ousmane Tandja, the current trade attaché to the Niger consulate in China.

In the same issue, the journalist also accused the country's national security minister of being responsible for "underhanded dealings in many cases."

On 23 August, during a television debate, Tiémogo openly called on Nigerians to thwart any attempt by the government to amend the Constitution to enable President Tandja to run for another term in office.

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