Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-046"

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"Mr President, I would like to draw the attention of this House to the fate of two French journalists, Pierre Creisson and Thomas Dandois, who are currently in prison in Niger. They are accused of undermining state security, which carries a possible death sentence in Niger. There is no doubt that the two journalists and their driver, Al-Hassane, broke Niger laws by entering a prohibited area. In my opinion, however, it was for sound journalistic reasons because their aim was to report on the Tuareg rebellion, and they also intended to return to the capital to question the Niger authorities so that they would have as broad a view as possible. I therefore believe that it is essential for us to take action to help these two journalists: firstly, because they risk being sentenced to death, a punishment that is out of all proportion with their actions, and secondly, because Niger is considered to be a friend of ours and a country that we help a great deal. It would not deserve the reputation that this attitude could generate. I believe, Mr President, that you and my fellow Members could be of great assistance if you participate in this request for reflection, for clemency from President Tandja, so that these two journalists can be released. Even though they did break Niger laws, their actions do not warrant such a long imprisonment."@en1

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