Benin: release of journalist Ignace Sossou

Journalist Ignace Sossou speaks to his colleagues after he leaves prison. Screen capture from Benin web TV site

Text by: RFI Follow

Sentenced at first instance to 18 months in prison, then to 6 months on appeal on May 19, journalist Ignace Sossou is free. He left the Cotonou civil prison on Wednesday. Reminder of the case: in December 2019, CFI (French agency that works for the development of media in the south), is organizing a workshop on "Infox". Ignace Sossou publishes three tweets on the intervention of the public prosecutor during this workshop. The tweets are considered misrepresented, he was arrested on December 24, tried and sentenced for cyber harassment.


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From our correspondent in Cotonou , Jean-Luc Aplogan

Upon leaving the remand center, Ignace Sossou appeared relaxed, masked face, sunglasses, black T-shirt worn over white cropped pants. His first words are for those who strongly mobilized for his release. I thank all the organizations of journalists who mobilized for my release. Today I am a free man, I thank you very sincerely  ”.

" The fight is not over "

Some euphoric and moved colleagues forget the barrier gestures, kiss him and shake his hand. Paul Arnaud Déguenon, boss of Bénin Web TV and employer of Ignace Sossou made the trip. He does not hide his joy. We are very happy to have him with us again  "

Also present, Me Brice Houssou; he defended the journalist on appeal. He reveals that his client has made an appeal in cassation, he will not be satisfied with this release. “  The spirit of Benin's laws is that journalists must never end up in prison for their writings. The fight is not over, we will continue it so that the supreme court situates us in relation to the understanding that we must have the laws of the republic, the law on the press code and the law on the digital code  ” .

Ignace Sossou left the civil prison by car with his brother who came to pick him up.

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