4 June 2003


Newspaper editor Daher Ahmed Farah released provisionally

Incident details

Daher Ahmed Farah


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(RSF/IFEX) - Daher Ahmed Farah, editor of the newspaper "Le Renouveau" and head of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (Mouvement pour le renouveau démocratique et le développement), was released on 3 June 2003 from Gabode prison. He had been detained there since 20 April on a charge of libelling the army's chief of staff, General Zakaria Cheik Ibrahim.

Farah told RSF that the judicial authorities had finally granted his request for provisional release. An investigating judge will now decide in the coming days whether to dismiss the charge against the editor or send the case to trial. Farah said he was held in solitary confinement in a small cell, which he could not leave, and that only his mother was allowed to visit him.

An application for provisional release had been made by Stéphane Zerbib, of the organisation Lawyers Without Borders, who visited Djibouti from 26 to 30 May, at RSF's request, to defend Farah. The libel charge stemmed from an article in "Le Renouveau" accusing the army of lacking "neutrality" and saying the armed forces "should be apolitical."

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
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France
rsf (@) rsf.org

Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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