- Senegalese appeal court has upheld three year jail term passed on the editor of the Dakar-based daily 24 Heures Chrono, El Malick Seck, on 12 Sepetermber last year.
Mr Seck who was arrested on 28 August after his paper printed an article charging that president Wade and his son were involved in money laundering scam from an Ivory Coast bank, was convicted for disseminating false news report.
His charges among others were media violations, including insulting the head of state, and possessing illegal documents, according to the government statement.
“This regrettable ruling is very damaging for Senegal’s image. By insisting on keeping Mr Seck in prison, the Senegalese authorities have preferred punishment to justice,” Reporters Without Borders said.
Reporters Without Borders wrote to President Abdoulaye Wade on 17 January voicing concerns about the judicial persecution of Mr Seck and asking him to grant the editor a pardon. No reply was received to the letter, according Reporters Without Borders.
In December 2008, the Senegalese Appeal Court rejected bail application by the jailed editor-in-chief of the privately-owned paper.
Critics have said Mr Seck's conviction is the latest step in an escalating conflict between President Wade's government and independent media, which they claim is damaging West African country's reputation for a stable democracy.
The 24 Heures Chrono, was banned from publication for three months from September.
The judge presiding on the case said Mr Seck failed to provide sufficient proof to back up his allegations, although the accused maintained that information used to produced an article came from reports that were publicly available.
In Senegal, tensions have escalated between the press and the government, with journalists having held demonstrations and marches charging government with trying to intimidate reporters and squash negative coverage.
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