Joint Statement by CCIJ and CENOZO on the Arrest of Nigerien Journalist and Activist Samira Sabou

Ouagadougou, 03 October 2023: The Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) and the Norbert Zongo Unit for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO) express grave concern regarding the recent arrest of Nigerien journalist and activist Samira Sabou.

We are deeply troubled by the recurring deprivation of Samira Sabou’s freedom for carrying out her journalistic duties. This is not the first time she has faced such circumstances in Niger. On 10 June 2020, she was arrested and unjustly detained for over a month due to a defamatory comment made by an internet user on one of her Facebook posts regarding the misappropriation of funds from Niger’s Ministry of National Defence.

Furthermore, between 2021 and 2022, Samira Sabou, along with investigative journalist Moussa Aksar, the former president of CENOZO, faced legal prosecution for sharing a Global Initiative investigation on drug trafficking in Niger through the Facebook social network. Following the recent coup d’état that toppled the regime of President Mohamed Bazoum in early August 2023, she reported intimidation and threats from members of the military.

This arrest warrants the immediate attention and action of the international community, including international organizations and journalism partners. We call upon these esteemed entities to fiercely condemn the arrest of Samira Sabou and join us in demanding her immediate and unconditional release.

We appeal to the new authorities in Niger to ensure freedom of information, which is a fundamental right of every citizen.

Both CCIJ and CENOZO firmly uphold the principles of the rule of law and stand in solidarity with national, regional, and international organizations dedicated to safeguarding and defending freedom of expression and press freedom. We join them in demanding the immediate and unconditional release of journalist Samira Sabou.

CCIJ and CENOZO remain committed to pursuing collaborative investigative journalism and promoting the safety and freedom of journalists across the region.


Jeff Kelly Lowenstein
Founder and Executive Director, CCIJ

President du Conseil d’Administration, CENOZO