CENOZO calls for the release of journalist Damilola Ayeni arrested in Benin Republic

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PRESS RELEASE

CENOZO calls for the release of journalist Damilola Ayeni arrested in Benin Republic

Ouagadougou, 8 September 2023: The Norbert Zongo Unit for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO) has learned with great concern of the arrest of Nigerian journalist, Damilola Ayeni, while he was doing a reportee in the Pendjari Park located in the far north of Benin between the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger.

Damilola Ayeni is Editor-in-Chief of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). Following his arrest, he is suspected of “acts of terrorism” and is being held in custody at the Cotonou Criminal Brigade. He will be presented to the Prosecutor of the Special Court for the Repression of Economic Offences and Terrorism (CRIET). He faces a prison sentence of between 10 and 20 years.

CENOZO joins all regional and international organisations defending freedom of expression and of the press in calling on the Beninese authorities to release the journalist immediately and to examine the facts dispassionately, in accordance with the law.

CENOZO reaffirms its attachment to the sacrosanct principle of press freedom, both in Benin and elsewhere in the world.

The Board

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