Monday, October 24, 2011

Mauritius editor jailed for contempt

Dharmanand Dooharika, editor-in-chief of Mauritius-based weekly Samedi Plus has been jailed for contempt. Dooharika was sentenced following his paper’s coverage of a fraud case last summer in which it reported allegations of bias against the judge by the man who launched the legal action. Dooharika was accused of "publicly scandalising the supreme court" and "bringing the administration of justice into disrepute.” The paper’s parent company, Contact Press, was also fined 300,000 rupees (£6500).

Reporters Without Borders expressed concern, explaining "this trial once again highlights the fragility of the current situation which is heading in the direction of a media crackdown on certain politically sensitive topics." We deeply regret the ruling by Judges Keshoe Parsad Matadeen and Asraf Caunhye and call for the release of the journalist, and for leniency in the appeals that are pending."

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