- A Chadian court is expected to rule on Thursday on the fate of a privately owned weekly, La Voix, after the authorities seized the paper in a bid to gag it, the newspaper’s lawyer Jean-Bernard Padare said.
In December Chadian authorities ordered the seizure of all publications of the newspaper, on the grounds that it broke administrative rules. Chadian authorities then stressed the absence of the managing editor as the error the paper made.
The authorities expelled the editor Innocent Ebodé for allegedly staying in the country illegally.
Last week, the state deputy prosecutor asked the court to order the withdrawal of the provisional seizure of La Voix and the bench announced that it would rule this week.
Launched in May 2009, La Voix employs a staff of 10 and has a print run of 2,000 copies, which is a large number in the deeply poor central African country.
The latest spat with the government is reportedly as a result of the newspaper article carried out on the front page of the paper on 13 October headlined: “Purchase of weapons in France: Chad spends 8.5 billions CFA francs,” based on official information released by the French defence ministry, revealing that Chad had become France’s second biggest customer for military weapons.
Reporters without Borders called on President Biya to use his influence to end practices that are undermining the free flow of information, further pleading with the government to bring defamation laws in line with international standards by eliminating criminal penalties.
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