À la presse africaine, morte au combat

Dans la majeure partie de l'Afrique, le défi que les journalistes, les rédacteurs en chef et les lecteurs doivent relever dépasse la liberté de la presse et implique directement sa survie. Sous les différentes dictatures du Nigeria, par exemple, de nombreux journalistes ont subi un rite de passage que la plupart préfèreraient oublier : harcèlement quotidien, coups, torture, accusations fallacieuses, et peine de prison d'une longueur choquante.

Parmi les nombreuses victimes, le cas le plus bizarre est peut-être celui d'un jeune journaliste appelé Bagauda Kaltho. Son corps a été retrouvé dans les toilettes d'un hôtel de la ville de Kaduna à côté des restes d'un colis piégé, après une explosion que personne n'a entendue. Et pourtant il gisait là, un exemplaire de mon livre Cet homme est mort à ses côtés.

L'explication de cet acte, soutenue par le régime, supposait que Kaltho était une de mes recrues qui s'était fait exploser en préparant sa prochaine bombe dans le cadre d'une campagne de terreur visant la dictature de Sanni Abacha. Cette affabulation n'a été dénoncée qu'après la mort d'Abacha et le torrent de confessions qui l'a suivie, par les agents de police qui avaient en réalité commis ce crime.

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