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Several journalists threatened for expressing their opinion

(MFWA/IFEX) - The Union of Independent Journalists of Togo (UJIT) in a statement to the Togolese authorities demanded protection of its members to enable them to carry out their legitimate duties without fear or intimidation.

The 10 August 2010 statement said that while some of its members have recently received threatening telephone calls, certain radio stations and newspapers have been under surveillance from persons suspected to be security operatives.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent in Togo reported that nine members of the UJIT have been targeted for expressing their opinions on various radio stations.

Two of the journalists are Francis Pédro Amuzun and Justin Anani of privately-owned "Le Crocodile" newspaper. The others are Zeus Aziadouvo of "Liberté", Olivier Glakpé of "Le Correcteur", Jérôme Sossou of "Triangle des Enjeux", Augustin Amega of "Le Canard Indépendant", Ferdinand Ayité of "Journal Alternative", Isidore Akolor of "Actu Express" and Marcel Agbédokou of Radio X solaire.

The correspondent said that following the threats, Justin Anani went briefly into hiding for fear of his life.

Meanwhile, UJIT has also condemned 10 August threats issued by a French military officer to Komi Agbédivlo, a reporter of the privately-owned "Liberté" daily newspaper. The officer had forced the reporter to delete a photograph of him during a demonstration.

"This regrettable action by an officer from a country like France, whose authorities do not hide their commitment to the virtue of human rights, may compromise efforts made in recent times to ensure better cohabitation of the security forces and journalists in Togo," the statement said.

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