The board of Investigative Reporters and Editors joins other journalism organizations in support of the immediate release of Ignace Sossou, who is serving an 18-month prison sentence for doing his job as a journalist.

Sossou is the head of production at Benin Web TV, and a member of the 3i investigative journalists’ network. He was convicted of harassment for accurately reporting comments made by a public prosecutor. Sossou had previously received a one-month suspended prison sentence for exposing a tax evasion case.

IRE supports the rights of journalists the world over to do their jobs without fear of persecution. IRE calls on the Benin Republic to respect freedoms of expression and of the press guaranteed by the country’s own laws.

IRE is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting in the U.S. and throughout the world. Today, IRE has grown into one of the largest journalism organizations in the United States and one of the largest investigative journalism groups in the world, with members from the U.S. and more than 50 other countries.