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Niger: Police arbitrarily detain 4 journalists, seize their equipment

This statement was originally published on mfwa.org on 23 November 2015.

On 14 November 2015, police in Niger arrested and detained four journalists from two private television stations for three days without charge. The journalists' cameras, microphones and mobile phones were also seized after their arrest.

In the first incident, Sidikou Harouna and Luc Oga, a reporter and a cameraman respectively for the private channel Bonferey TV, were arrested while they were covering the arrival in the country of the former Speaker of Parliament, Hama Amadou, according to MFWA's reporter in Niger.

The report said the second incident involved the crew of another private TV station, Niger24. The crew made up of Alou Aboubacar and Abdoulaye moussa was also covering the same event.

The two sets of TV crews were released in the afternoon of Monday November 16, after three days in detention. Though no formal charges were brought against the journalists, the police have refused to release their equipment.

Hama Amadou, who is under a national arrest warrant in connection with a child trafficking scandal, has been living in exile for the past one year. His return has increased the political temperature of the country, the report said.

The correspondent said the public, particularly the media, have condemned the arrests as arbitrary and distasteful.

The MFWA joins the Nigerien public in denouncing the arrest and detention of the media professionals. The action of the police in Niger is in violation of the state's responsibility to ensure the safety of journalists in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. We urge the authorities in Niger to call the police to order and to ensure the release to the journalists of their seized equipment to enable them go back to work.

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