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Journalist arrested after being summoned to law courts

Journalist arrested after being summoned to law courts

Published on Monday 6 May 2013.
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Reporters Without Borders is very worried by today’s arrest of Eric Topona, the secretary-general of the Union of Chadian Journalists (UJT) and former journalist for Chad’s national radio and TV broadcaster, and the charge of “endangering constitutional order” that has been brought against him.

After reporting to N’Djamena’s law courts at 8 a.m. today in response to a summons from an investigating judge, he was detained under a warrant and is now at a detention centre in Amsinene, a suburb of the capital, Reporters Without Borders has learned.

“The arrest and charging of Topona, who has been harassed several times in the past in connection with his journalistic activities, are unacceptable and constitute a flagrant violation of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for his immediate and unconditional release.”

Topona’s arrest follows that of Jean Etienne Laokolé, a blogger who has been held since 22 March. Both contributed to Le blog de Makaïla, a blog edited by a Chadian citizen living abroad that is very critical of the government.

In 2012, Topona was the target of threats that the local media blamed on government officials and, on 24 June 2012, he was knocked down by a motorcycle in N’Djamena.

More information on media freedom in Chad

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