News / Africa

Togo Journalist Injured in Apparent Attack

Jennifer Lazuta
A Togolese photojournalist and videographer says he was attacked and injured in retaliation for images he published. International monitoring groups call it an "assassination attempt" and say it appears to be the latest effort by authorities to silence journalists who speak out against the government.

Frédéric Koffi Attipou was injured in an apparently "deliberate" hit-and -run accident on Wednesday.

"I was returning from church on my motorbike, when two vehicles approached me from either side," he said, speaking by telephone from his hospital bed in Togo. "On my left, on my right, the vehicles converged on me at the same time. They rolled down the window and accused me publishing photographs that tarnished the image of the country. Then they hit me.  I fell off and sustained injuries to my face and body. My camera was destroyed."

This is not the first time Attipou has been attacked. He was assaulted in March 2012 for taking photographs of security forces during a demonstration.

Despite promises by the security minister to prosecute that case, the officers involved in the assault have not been disciplined.

Sylvio Combey, the president of the African Network of African Journalists, says this latest attack has made many journalists in Togo concerned for their safety.

"We are saying this was a deliberate attack," he said. "They assaulted him because he sent some images abroad. This is a problem because the press here in Togo is always under threat. Our colleague has suffered because he was doing his job. We are all now scared."

Freedom of the press is legally guaranteed in Togo, but international monitoring groups say that the government often ignores these rights.

Mohamed Keita, the Africa Advocacy Coordinator for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, says said that media outlets in Togo are often shut down for vague reasons, and that there have been many recent allegations of security forces attacking and imprisoning journalists without cause.

"For many years now, [Attipou] has been documenting protests and the violent dispersal of protests by security forces," he said. "He has been behind many of the videos and photos that have been published... The question arises as to whether this is an act of intimidation sponsored by the Togolese government against the journalists who have been documenting the often abuses and brutal responses by security forces."

Togolese authorities declined to comment to VOA on the latest hit-and-run incident and subsequent allegations.

Keita said that many journalists on the ground are now fighting back against authorities in the region.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists have both called for an investigation into what they call an  "assassination attempt."

So far, no action has been taken.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid