13 February 2007

Alert

Court rules that prosecution's case is incomplete in libel suit against opposition weekly, RSF urges authorities to drop charges


Incident details

Houssein Ahmed Farah

journalist(s)

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(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has called on the authorities to abandon a libel prosecution against the opposition weekly "Le Renouveau" after a court ruled on 11 February 2007 that the prosecution case was incomplete.

Houssein Ahmed Farah, the brother of "Le Renouveau" managing editor Daher Ahmed Farah, was released provisionally on 10 February after three days in detention and appeared in court the next day on the charge of libelling the national bank governor, President Ismaël Omar Guelleh?s brother-in-law, in an editorial.

The judge ordered an adjournment until 18 February after discovering that the prosecution case file contained no copy of the issue with the offending editorial.

It is unclear on what legal grounds Houssein Ahmed Farah is being prosecuted instead of his brother, who is currently out of the country. Daher Ahmed Farah, who also heads the opposition Movement for Democratic Renewal (MRD), told Reporters Without Borders his brother did not write the editorial. "It was an article without a byline, and in such a case it is the managing editor, myself, who assumes responsibility."

The printing material which the police took from the newspaper has not yet been returned. As a result, the newspaper is still unable to publish.



Source

Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
France
rsf (@) rsf.org
Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
Djibouti
 
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