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Journalist threatened with death by military official

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 13 August 2008, Jean-Christophe Houngho, parliamentary correspondent of "Le Matinal", a privately-owned daily newspaper, complained to the journalists' union that his life is in danger.

Houngho said Colonel Antoine Guy Adjaho, head of the military detachment stationed at the National Assembly, has been consistently threatening and intimidating him.

The journalist told the Benin National Union of Media Practitioners (SYNAPROMEB) that, in the presence of two of his colleagues, Colonel Adjaho accused him of being on the payroll of the opposition, and threatened, "I will finish you".

In a telephone interview with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent, Houngbo said that was the third time the colonel had confronted him on his reports.

Francis Okoya, President of the Parliamentary Press Corps, who was an eyewitness, confirmed Houngho's account.

Colonel Adjaho has however denied issuing the threats. He is quoted by SYNAPROMEB as saying "I called him in the company of two of his colleagues" to tell him that "you are on a path of destruction", that "you have no place in the profession" and that if he goes on like that, "you will destroy yourself."

A statement issued by SYNAPROMEB on 1 September advised the public, including Colonel Adjaho, to use the existing mechanisms to address problems they may have with the media.

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