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All journalists freed, no charges laid

(RSF/IFEX) - The four journalists that had been under arrest in Benin since 15 September 2006 were released on 18 and 19 September, after being interrogated by the state prosecutor.

Virgile Linkpon and Fulric Richard Couao-Zotti, publication director and managing editor, respectively, of the private daily "La Diaspora de Sabbat", both arrested on 15 September, were released on the evening of 18 September. Judicaël Adikpeto, from the same newspaper, was arrested on 18 September, and then released after one day of detention. No charges were laid against any of the journalists.

They were interrogated as a result of a 14 September article which stated without proof that the eldest son of the head of state was "insane". "Diaspora de Sabbat" is a newer, sporadically published newspaper, known for its sensational stories.

Cyrille Saïzonou, publication director of the daily newspaper "Djakpata", was arrested on 18 September and released late in the day on 19 September, after having been interrogated by the prosecutor regarding articles published in the 25 August, 1 and 8 September editions of the newspaper. These poorly-researched articles were entitled, "Jockeying in the police force: Why is the hierarchy breaking down?", "Espionage at the top: Yayi Boni's minister, a secret agent for the North", and "Organised jockeying in the police force: does Minister Alia condone these antics?". No charges were laid against Saïzonou.

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