Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

Africa

Video of French officer threatening a journalist sparks outrage

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-08-13

A shocking video has come to light which shows a French military officer threatening and intimidating a journalist in Togo’s capital Lome at an opposition demonstration.

A video has been posted on the content sharing website YouTube which shows a member of the French army (who have a base in the area) intimidating and threatening a journalist.

Didier Ledoux, a Togolese journalist, was covering an opposition rally on Tuesday in Togo’s capital Lome. Standing outside the rally he attempted to take a photo of Lieutenant-Colonel Romuald Létondot, a French military officer.



The officer immediately demanded that the journalist delete the photograph, but Ledoux refused. The video clearly shows the French officer threatening Ledoux with severe consequences if the photo is not immediately deleted.

The video shows Ledoux trying to reason with the officer, saying that he is simply doing his job. Jostling the journalist, the French officer retorts, “I don’t care if you’re a journalist, delete that photo right away […] Do you know who I am? I am the councillor to the General Staff of the Army. Do you want me to call the RCGP (Commando unit of the Togolese Presidential Guard)?"


Ledoux is a journalist with the Togolese newspaper La Liberté. The newspaper reported on Wednesday that the journalist was only allowed to leave the rally after he deleted the officer’s picture. In an article recounting the incident, the daily argues, "It's odd that a French officer, trained in France, a country of human rights, threatens to call on the presidential guard to settle a misunderstanding with a journalist who is simply doing his job."

A spokesman for the French Ministry of Defence told FRANCE24 that it did not support the French officer’s behaviour, stating "Freedom of the press is, for us, a fundamental value." However, the military refused to confirm if any action was being taken against the officer in question.

On Thursday, Létondot was forced to apologise to Ledoux at the French embassy in the Togolese capital.

The story has been splashed across the French newspapers, with the French press and public alike condemning the video’s content. However, surprisingly, the reaction in Togo has been more muted. FRANCE24’s sister radio station, RFI, has a correspondent in Togo, Peter Dogbe, who reports that, “Very few people in Togo are interested in a problem between a military officer and a journalist.”

Date created : 2010-08-11

  • TOGO

    Police use tear gas to disperse opposition meeting

    Read more

  • TOGO

    Thousands demonstrate against President Gnassingbe's re-election

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)