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Benin: Armed Policemen Raid Newspaper Office

This statement was originally published on on August 15, 2016.

 On August 11, 2016, about ten armed police officers in Benin raided the premises of the L’Audace Info newspaper on grounds of summoning the director of publications, Romauld Alingo.

Narrating the incident to the MFWA’s correspondent in Benin, Alingo said he received a phone-call from a neighbor that about 10 armed policemen had gone to his office to look for him but had met no one in the office. Soon after his neighbour’s call he received a phone-call from the police asking about his whereabouts.

“When they arrived at the office, they did not find anyone so they called me,” Alingo said. “I told them that I was not a criminal for security forces to raid my place of work and if they wanted to summon me, they should do so by providing an official summons.”

According Alingo the policemen accused him of publishing defamatory articles in the L’Audace Info newspaper about a university group, CERCO. The police also accused him of sharing the same articles on social media platform, WhatsApp.

Meanwhile the state-mandated regulator of audiovisuals and communication in Benin, the Haute Autorité de l’Audiovisuel et de la Communication, and a network of professional journalists, the Union des Professionnels des Medias du Benin, are said to be resolving the issue.

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