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City of Banjul
Monday, September 28, 2020

Three journalists banned from presenting news in Benin

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The order was posted in the editorial room February 1, 2015. The ban of the three journalists follows a statement made by another presenter, Ozias Sounouvou, during the 11:30pm edition on January 12. While presenting the news, Sounouvou called out the President of Benin, Yayi Boni, for participating in a press freedom march in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo attacks while in his own country, people cannot exercise the right to freedom of expression. Sounouvou challenged the president to be “Charlie-ORTB” by allowing the state broadcaster to air “real debates on the major political issues and other matters dealing with the current and future state of the nation.”  After this broadcast, he began receiving threatening phone-calls. The three journalists have reported that “freedom of expression is under threat at the ORTB” and have appealed to associations of media professionals and journalists to ensure that media monolithism does not prevail in the state television network. The MFWA is concerned about ORTB’s decision to ban these journalists for demanding that President Boni respect freedom of expression, a human right. The MFWA urges management to ensure that journalists are not censored for criticising public figures.

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