Benin appeals court shortens journalist Ignace Sossou’s jail term
A police officer is seen in Cotonou, Benin, on March 9, 2018. A court recently shortened journalist Ignace Sossou’s jail term, but did not free him. (AFP/Yanick Folly)
Authorities arrested Sossou, a reporter with the privately owned Benin Web TV news website, on December 20, 2019, and sentenced him to 18 months in prison and a fine of 200,000 West African francs ($337) in relation to social media posts quoting a Beninese public prosecutor, Mario Mètonou, according to CPJ research. Today’s decision shortened his jail term but maintained the fine, according to Prisca Layo Ogoubi, one of Sossou’s lawyers, who spoke to CPJ by messaging app, and a report by Benin Web TV.
He is due to be released on June 24, according to that report.
In early April, CPJ and 80 other organizations wrote to African heads of state, including Beninese President Patrice Talon, calling for the release of all jailed journalists in order to mitigate COVID-19-related health risks.