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Togo's Press Advocates Denounce Government

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has denounced the Togolese government for its increasing attempts to stifle press freedom in the West African country.

Authorities continue to issue courts summons to journalists critical of the government, and some journalists feel they are under threat of physical danger.

Union of Independent Journalists of Togo Secretary-General Credo Tetteh says the government reportedly has a list of journalists "to eliminate."

Tetteh said his organization wants to snuff out the government's threats so that the country's journalists can feel free to do their work.

"We wish to push away the waterfall of sewage so that the journalists can do their job," Tetteh said.

On August 25, 2010, journalist Didier Ledoux was briefly arrested for taking pictures of the courthouse. And just last week, the newspaper The Lantern was questioned by the government for comparing the misery in the country to the expensive lifestyle of government officials.

The press also has a responsibility to play its part, added Tetteh.

He says the journalists need to report on these and other occurrences, adding that they have an obligation not to forget their social responsibility.