Reporters Without Borders expresses concern over health and safety of jailed editor

first_imgNews Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election Côte d’IvoireAfrica October 16, 2020 Find out more November 27, 2020 Find out more October 29, 2020 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders has expressed deep concern over the deterioration of “Le Venin” (“Venom”) editor Gaston Bony’s health. Bony isimprisoned in the Agboville penitentiary, just outside of Abidjan.”The deplorable conditions of (Bony’s) detention and a five day hungerstrike have considerably weakened him. Moreover, he claims to have receiveddeath threats from individuals close to the Agboville mayor. We thereforeurge the Ivoirian authorities to end this appalling and completelyunjustified detention and to guarantee the journalist’s safety with respectto these threats, should they prove to be genuine,” said the organisation.Bony, who is also a radio host with La voix de l’Agnéby (The Voice ofAgnéby), a local radio station, has been in prison since 31 March 2004. Hewas sentenced to six months in prison and fined 500,000 CFA francs (approx.US$927; 760 euros) for defamation, following the publication of an articleentitled, “Agboville Mayor Tetchi Chiedou Claude misappropriates threemillion (CFA francs) from radio station’s grant to pay for secret servicesof a friend”.This is the first time a prison term with no parole has been handed down toa journalist since Laurent Gbagbo became president in 2000, when he declaredthat there would be no more prisoners of conscience in Côte d’Ivoire.Bony is serving his sentence in very difficult conditions, sharing a tinycell with four other prisoners. He expressed disgust over the sentence andhas begun a hunger strike in protest, which has only worsened his physicalcondition. He now walks with difficulty and requires a cane to get around.His family and friends are extremely concerned about him and visitregularly.Bony has also been receiving death threats from Agboville Mayor Claude Tetchi Chiedou, the subject of the “Venin” article. According to the journalist, the mayor and individuals close to him have told him, “We will get you, whatever it takes,unless you’re no longer in Côte d’Ivoire. Whether you’re in Agboville or inanother part of the country, we will get you.” Bony now fears for his lifeonce he is released. RSF_en The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections center_img News June 2, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders expresses concern over health and safety of jailed editor Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire Organisation to go further Reports Receive email alerts Côte d’IvoireAfrica Help by sharing this information last_img

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