The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on authorities in Guinea Bissau to close the libel case against journalist Alberto Dabo and drop all charges brought by the chief of the national navy, Rear Admiral Jose Américo Bubo Na Tchuto.
"The charges brought by Admiral Tchuto make no sense," said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "There is no proof to back up any of them. We call on the authorities and the judge to drop the charges against Alberto Dabo as the case file is empty."
The trial, which started in August 2007, is to resume on Tuesday. Dabo is charged with libel, violating state secrets, libellous denunciation, abusing press freedom and colluding with foreign journalists. The case is based on accusations by Tchuto that Dabo falsely attributed to the navy chief allegations that soldiers are implicated in drug trafficking in Guinea Bissau. The accusations stem from an interview for a British television show in which the journalist acted as an interpreter for Tchuto.
There is no record that Dabo made any of the statements that Tchuto accuses him of making.
Dabo, who works with Reuters and the private radio station Bombolom Fm, has received threats since June 2007 after Tchuto made his accusations public.
For further information contact the IFJ: +221 33 842 01 43
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries