The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the harassment and intimidation campaign against journalists in Guinea and the consistent threats on freedom of expression since the advent of the military junta in the country.
“Since the advent of the military junta, we have witnessed more and more threats, and arrests that are squarely designed to intimidate journalists,” declared Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. “The military authorities should adopt a constructive approach in their relations with the press, most especially during this transition process”.
On August 9, 2009 Amara Camara, journalist of the private weekly magazine, Confidentiel based in Conakry, was arrested by soldiers on the orders of Commander Moussa Tiegbro, member of the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) for allegedly making contradictory remarks to the commander in connection with a company that was accused of manufacturing harmful chemicals.
On August 27, Diarouga Baldé editor of the website kibarou.com, was arrested and held at the headquarters of the Ministry for Public Safety by a group of soldiers while he was covering a demonstration organized against the possible candidature of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, head of the junta, for the next presidential elections in January 2010. He was interrogated and questioned about his work as a citizen of Guinea before being released.
The same day, a message circulating by SMS exhorted Guineans to resist to the possible candidature of the captain Moussa Dadis Camara for presidential elections of 2010. The military authorities of the CNDD then censored the telephone operators by obliging them to suspend the use of SMS messages in the country. The threatened operators proceeded to suspend the service.
In a public declaration on August 29, the Forum des Forces vives de la Nation, a coalition of political parties, civil society organizations and trade-unions, also denounced this act of censorship qualifying it as attack on freedom of expression.
IFJ calls on the military junta in Guinea to protect the safety of journalists and to create the conditions for restoring freedom of expression in the country.
For more information contact the IFJ at +221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide