PEN welcomes the release of Faustin Bambou, editor of the weekly Les Collines de l‘Oubangui, who was sentenced to six months in prison on defamation charges after an unfair trial in January 2008. However, PEN urges the authorities to quash Bambou’s conviction and ensure that journalists are not imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

Background Information

After spending six weeks in prison, Bambou was released following a pardon by President François Bozizé on February 23, 2008. The presidential decree granted the editor "a complete remission of sentence."

Faustin Bambou was arrested on January 11, 2008, and taken to Ngaragba prison in the capital, Bangui. On January 28, he was sentenced by the High Court to six months’ imprisonment and a fine on charges of libel, insult, and incitement to revolt related to an article alleging government corruption published in the December 21, 2007, issue of Les Collines de l‘Oubangui. Bambou’s defense had argued that the editor should not have been charged under ordinary criminal law but under the 2004 press law, which protects journalists from being imprisoned for their work; this petition was rejected.

Write A Letter

  • welcoming the presidential pardon and the release of Faustin Bambou;
  • urging the authorities to quash Bambou’s conviction;
  • asking the authorities to ensure that other journalists are not imprisoned for exercising the right to freedom of expression.

Send Your Letter To

Minister of Justice

Monsieur Thierry MALEYOMBO
Ministre de la Justice, Garde des sceaux
Ministère de la Justice
BP 732
BANGUI, République centrafricaine
Fax: + 236 21 611579/ 613198
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre

Minister of Information
Monsieur Cyriaque GONDA.                                                                   
Ministre de la Communication, chargé du Dialogue national                        
Ministère de la Communication
BP 1290
BANGUI, République centrafricaine
Fax: + 236 21 615985
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre

Monsieur Firmin FEINDIRO               
Procureur de la République               
Parquet de Bangui
BP 2891
BANGUI, République centrafricaine
Fax : +236 21 614478
Salutation: Monsieur le Procureur de la République
Please send also appeals to the diplomatic representatives of the Central African Republic accredited to your country.