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Niger: Journalist detained for coronavirus reporting

Petition: Call on Niger’s authorities to immediately release journalist Mamane Kaka Touda.

Monday 30 March 2020, by siawi3

Source: https://action.amnesty.org.au/act-now/journalist-detained-for-coronavirus-reporting?srctid=1&erid=933193a9-0ba2-4088-a0e6-54d41511516d&efndnum=000061964138&trid=933193a9-0ba2-4088-a0e6-54d41511516d

Journalist detained for coronavirus reporting

ADD YOUR VOICE

Niger’s authorities have detained journalist Mamane Kaka Touda for informing the public about a suspected case of COVID-19 infection.

On 5 March, Mamane Kaka Touda published posts on social media about a suspected case of COVID-19 at the Niamey Reference Hospital. The authorities arrested him at his home that same day. They charged him with “disseminating data tending to disturb public order”.

Niger is a landlocked nation in West Africa. The authorities are detaining Mamane Kaka Touda in the Civil Prison of Niamey, the capital of Niger. He is detained in a small cell where his movement is severely restricted.

Mamane desperately needs medical assistance. He is unable to sleep because of pain in his foot from a car accident.

In uncertain times, we need journalists reporting the truth and holding people in power to account. Together we need to ensure journalists, whistle blowers, activists and human rights defenders can continue their vital work.

Call on Niger’s authorities to immediately release journalist Mamane Kaka Touda.


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Act now

°°°

President of the Republic of Niger, M. Issoufou Mahamadou
Your Excellency,

I am writing to express my concern that journalist Mamane Kaka Touda has been detained since 5 March at Niamey Civil Prison, after he published a post on social media regarding a suspected case of COVID- 19 infection in Niamey Reference Hospital.

He was arrested at home on the same day and charged with “disseminating data tending to disturb public order”. I am deeply concerned that Mamane Kaka Touda’s rights have been violated. The authorities must protect journalists, whistle blowers, activists and human rights defenders, in accordance with the country’s international obligations to protect human rights.

In light of the above, I urge you to ensure that:

Charges against Mamane Kaka Touda are dropped and that he is immediately and unconditionally released.
Pending his release, he has prompt, regular and unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and access to his family without delay. If contact visits are restricted due to COVID-19 prevention measures, they must be replaced with other means of contacting his family, by phone, video call or emails, for example.
The conditions of detention are in line with international standards.
Mamane Kaka Touda is provided with appropriate medical care.
The right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected and promoted in Niger.

Sincerely,

Your name

°°°

Letter from AI

Call for Mamane’s release.

Niger journalist Mamane Kaka Touda is languishing in detention, just for reporting on a suspected coronavirus case.

No one should be imprisoned for informing the public about coronavirus risks. Call on Niger’s authorities to immediately release journalist Mamane Kaka Touda now.

CALL FOR MAMANE’S RELEASE

We have the best chance of beating coronavirus when our communities are quickly and accurately informed.

When Mamane Kaka Touda published posts on social media about a suspected case of COVID-19 in Niger, he was looking out for the safety of his community.

But the authorities arrested him for posting legitimate COVID-19 news on social media. They charged him with “disseminating data tending to disturb public order”.

To make things worse, Mamane desperately needs medical assistance. Pain in his foot from a car accident is preventing him from sleeping, and the prison is denying him the assistance he needs.

Amnesty supporters like you have a history of helping to free people imprisoned for reporting information in the public’s interest. Together, we’ve helped protect countless journalists and whistleblowers all over the world.

Once again, we need to show the authorities that we won’t stand for the imprisonment of journalists being targeted for carrying out their vital work. Now more than ever.

Call for Mamane Kaka Touda’s release now.