23 April 2003


Editor of opposition newspaper arrested again

Incident details

Daher Ahmed Farah

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(RSF/IFEX) - Daher Ahmed Farah, editor of the newspaper "Le Renouveau" and president of the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (Mouvement pour le renouveau démocratique et le développement, an opposition party), was arrested in Djibouti on the morning of 20 April 2003 and placed in solitary confinement at Gabode prison.

The authorities have once again chosen the most repressive means to punish a journalist, noted RSF. The organisation believes that Farah did nothing more than express his opinion. RSF recalled that according to a United Nations document, "as punishment for the peaceful expression of an opinion, a prison sentence constitutes a serious human rights violation." The organisation also urged the authorities to do everything in their power to ensure the journalist's prompt release and to introduce measures guaranteeing press freedom in the country.

According to information collected by RSF, Farah is being detained in cell 13 at Gabode prison, in Djibouti. His family was allowed to visit him. The journalist has not been officially charged, but according to several witnesses, General Zakaria Cheik Ibrahim reportedly filed a complaint against "Le Renouveau" after it published an article that was critical of him. In its 17 April edition (issue 475), the newspaper had targeted the general in accusing the army of lacking "neutrality" and recalling that the armed forces "must not take sides."

Farah has been jailed several times in the last few years. In most cases, he was charged with violating the press law and handed a prison sentence or fine. On 15 March, he was detained for one day and fined for "undermining the army's morale".


Reporters Without Borders
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