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Madagascar: Journalist held in pre-trial detention as authorities use COVID-19 context to intimidate journalists

, Index number: AFR 35/2117/2020

Malagasy authorities must immediately and unconditionally release a journalist jailed after being accused of criticizing the president’s handling of the national response to COVID-19, Amnesty International said today. Arphine Helisoa, publishing director of the newspaper ‘Ny Valosoa’, was sent to pre-trial detention in the capital city’s Antanimora prison on 4 April. She is charged with spreading fake news and incitement of hatred towards the President, Andry Rajoelina, after a publication on the online version of ‘Ny Valosoa’, perceived to be close to the opposition.

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