Journalist acquitted of defamation charges


Lookmann Sawadogo, the director of publications for the newspaper Le Soir, was aquitted by the Court of First Instance in Ouagadougou after facing charges of defamation under the Penal Code on 10th August 2017. The charges stem from a Le Soir Facebook post he wrote on 5th April 2017, and were initiated by six judges of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature to investigate corruption within the judiciary in Burkina Faso. The social media post claimed that there was a cover up of a corruption complaint against one of the members of the Commission of Inquiry. During the judicial process, the prosecutor of the Court of First Instance requested a suspended prison sentence of 12 months and a fine of 300,000 FCFA (540 USD). Press offenses were decriminalised in September 2015, but Sawadogo was charged under the Penal Code. 

On 28th June 2017, a group of burkinabé artists from the collective Coalition pour la renaissance artistique au Burkina Faso invaded the offices of Radio Oméga FM and threatened and attacked radio host Hamed Kossa when he was about to start his programme "Interconnexion". The collective wanted to protest the lack of local music played by the radio host. This act was condemned by professional media organisations, such as the Association of Journalists of Burkina Faso, and by the Minister of Communication, Rémis Fulgance Dandjinou.