Civil Society Organizations Call for Release of Journalist Apollinaire Mewenemesse

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

Several civil society organizations are urging for the release of journalist Apollinaire Mewenemesse. The 71-year-old editor of La Dépêche was remanded in custody by the dean of investigating judges last Thursday, March 28th.

Apollinaire Mewenemesse faces seven charges, including “insulting the head of state” and “publishing false news with the intent to incite the population or the army to revolt against the state,” following an article published a month ago on the circumstances surrounding the death of Colonel Madjoulba in 2020. The High Authority of Audiovisual and Communication (HAAC) has already suspended the newspaper for three months.

“We cannot use provisions of the penal code to apply to a journalist when there is a press code,” emphasizes Master Raphaël Kpandé Adzaré, president of the MCM movement. “We are aware that in Togo, within just a few months, journalists have been arrested. And most of the time, the charges against them include crimes such as promoting crime, dishonoring, insulting the head of state…”

“As soon as you raise your voice, especially if that voice is critical, you become subject to prosecution. These practices must stop because freedom of the press, and freedom of expression, are rights guaranteed by the Togolese Constitution,” concludes Raphaël Kpandé Adzaré.

Soukaina Sghir

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