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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora