Press-freedom groups agree that an increase in arrests, intimidation and harassment of journalists in Niger is impeding development in one of the poorest countries in the world. At least 14 journalists were arrested in Niger in 2007. Four of them are still in prison awaiting sentencing.
It's the kind of unfair situation that makes poorer nations wonder where the payoff is with free trade: demand for coffee, tea, cocoa, cotton and sugar -- which is what many such countries have to offer the world -- has risen. Prices paid in the supermarket have risen. Yet the share paid to the farmers who grow these basic agricultural commodities has fallen.