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African Court to consider case of two imprisoned journalists

30 July 2013 at 05:02 | 8907 views

Reporters Without Borders welcomes a decision by the African Court on Human Rights to examine the case of two Ouagadougou-based newspaper journalists who are serving jail sentences for libelling a prosecutor.

Issa Lohé Konaté, the editor of the weekly L’Ouragan, and Roland Ouédraogo, one of his reporters, were sentenced on 29 October 2012 to 12 months in prison, a fine of 4 million CFA francs (6,000 euros) and damages of 500,0000 CFA francs (750 euros).

Reporters Without Borders issued a press release at the time condemning the disproportionate nature of the sentence and stressing that imprisonment was never an appropriate punishment for media offences.

“We hope that the African Court, a higher judicial entity than the Ouagadougou court that imposed the sentence, will order the overturning of this decision,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is high time that the Burkina Faso authorities free these two journalists.”

Konaté and Ouédraogo were convicted of contempt of court and defaming state prosecutor Placide Nikiéma in articles about him. Konaté admitted that the articles amounted to professional misconduct and apologized.

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