Théophile Kouamouo

Théophile Kouamouo

Location: Abidjan, Ivory Coast
5° 20' 11.0004" N, 4° 1' 36.0012" W
Status: Under Arrest
Arrested on 13 Jul 2010
Campaign Site:

Théophile Kouamouo, one of Francophone Africa's leading bloggers, and the project leader of the Rising Voices grantee Abidjan Blog Camps. Théophile has been arrested, ‎along with two other journalists, for publishing a newspaper report. Théophile Kouamouo, a French citizen of Cameroonian origin and a resident of Ivory Coast, is the Managing Editor of Le Nouveau Courrier, a new Ivorian daily launched in May 2010.

On 13th of July, 2010 the newspaper published the first of a series of five articles on the “burning issue” of the coffee and cocoa sector which contained information of a recent report on the investigation of 30 people by public prosecutor Raymond Tchimou submitted to the president.

The three journalists, who spent the last two nights in police custody in spite of the pressure to reveal their sources, are waiting to be taken before a judge and charged with “theft of administrative documents.” Since the news of their detention broke out yesterday they have been receiving visits of numerous colleagues and organizations who are showing their support, including the Groupement des éditeurs de presse de Côte d'Ivoire (the newspaper editors' professional association). Some colleagues have pointed out that the first article in the official Code of Ethics for the Ivorian Journalist published by the Ministry of Communications (see original in French here) states that "the journalist has the right to the protection of his/her information sources".

The Nouveau Courrier is a new information daily that started publication less than two months ago, on May 25th, with the intention of offering a fresh and in-depth perspective on current affairs.

Managing editor Théophile Kouamouo is French citizen of Cameroonian origin and a former correspondent of the French daily Le Monde who has been based in Abidjan for over a decade, and is a well-respected journalist as well as a regular journalism lecturer in Côte d'Ivoire and elsewhere. He's also one of the first and most popular bloggers in Francophone Africa, and a self-described serial web entrepreneur. One of his most successful internet endeavors has been the Ivorian blogging platform Ivoire-Blog. Last but not least, alongside his wife Nadine Tchaptchet-Kouamouo who is also a journalist, he's also been a recipient of a Rising Voices grant for his project Abidjan BlogCamps around blog trainings in Côte d'Ivoire.

Several bloggers and journalists have shown their support to Kouamouo and the rest of the Le Nouveau Courrier team through an online petition asking for their immediate release, as well as through Twitter and a Facebook group where they have shared updates about the case.

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