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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 04 Journalist charged with spreading false news
UA 053/19
Benin
Aktiv seit 29. April 2019 | Noch 16 Tage Laufzeit

Journalist charged with spreading false news

AI-Index: AFR 14/0274/2019

Casimir Kpedjo, the managing editor of the newspaper «New Economy» (Nouvelle Economie), was charged with publishing «false information» on 23 April. The charge is in relation to articles from the New Economy newspaper that Casimir shared on Facebook about the economic situation in Benin. He has been released on bail pending his trial which begins on 2 May.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Casimir Kpedjo was arrested by the police on 18 April after he shared some articles from the New Economy newspaper on Facebook. The newspaper articles allege that Beninese authorities had contracted a debt of nearly 725 million USD (428 CFA billion) in breach of the 2019 finance law.

His laptops and mobile phones were confiscated when he was arrested.

Benin has adopted several repressive laws in recent years which are now being used to crackdown on dissent, including a Code of digital law (Code digital) adopted in 2017 which criminalizes publication of false information, press offenses online and incitement to rebellion online.

The Beninese authorities shut down the Internet and social media on 28 April during the legislative elections.

 

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 10 June 2019.
  • Preferred language: French. You can also write in your own language.

 

Model letter

Your Excellency Patrice Talon,

I am concerned about the situation of Casimir Kpedjo, the managing editor of the newspaper «New Economy» (Nouvelle Economie).

Casimir Kpedjo was arrested by the police on 18 April at his house in Cotonou as a result of a complaint from the State Judicial Officer, after he shared articles from the New Economy newspaper on Facebook regarding the economic situation of Benin. He was detained at the Central Office of Repressions against Cyber Crime (Office Centrale des Répressions contre la Cyber-criminalité).

On 23 April, he was charged with publishing «false information» by the Court of Repression of Economic Offenses and Terrorism. The same day he was released on bail pending trial.

His trial begins on 2 May.

I urge you to ensure that:

  • The charge of publishing «false information» against Casimir Kpedjo is dropped immediately as he has been charged solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • The right to freedom of expression is fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled in Benin.

Yours sincerely,

 

Appeals to

President Republic of Benin
Patrice Talon
Palais de la Marina
Cotonou
Benin

Email : communicationdigitale@presidence.bj
Twitter: @PresidenceBenin

Salutation: Your Excellency Patrice Talon,

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade de la République du Bénin
Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28
1209 Genève

Fax: 022 906 84 61
E-mail: info@missionbenin.ch

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