©Afreepress-(Lomé, sept. 2, 2017)- The threats and intimidations of media professionals of late, have been a source of concern for press organizations who gave a joint response statement released on Wednesday. They condemned these threats and call for restraint.
In the statement, the Observatoire Togolais des Médias (OTM), Conseil National des Patrons de Presse (CONAPP), the Union des Journalistes Indépendants du Togo (UJIT), the Union des Radios et Télévisions Libres (URATEL), Syndicat des Journalistes Indépendants du Togo (SYNJIT) said they were "scandalized by the climate of terror that certain individuals try to instill to intimidate journalists and deny them their right to free expression."
These organizations refer to photos and montages of journalists Aimé EKPE, editor of the bi-weekly "L'Equipe Sportive" and president of the OTM, Crédo TETTEH, editor of the weekly "Le Médium", Eli GOKA, journalist-animator at Radio Métropolys and Firmin TÊKO-AGBO, journalist who circulates on social networks. Photomontages accompanied by insults and threats of death or damage to their physical integrity.
The statement reminds the public, the freedom granted by the law of Togo to media professionals to express themselves freely and warns the perpetrators of these "wrongful" acts. "No one has the right, whatever his motives, to attempt unacceptable maneuvers, to undermine this essential pillar of democracy," insists the statement.
OTM, CONAPP, UJIT, URATEL and SYNJIT urge the authorities to do their best to ensure that journalists and other media agents are free to practice their trade and warn threats of prosecution.
A week ago, Joseph Gada, editor of the weekly Economy & Development magazine, was intimidated and threatened for his positions expressed during a broadcast on Kanal FM.