The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed concern over the prolonged detention of the French freelance photojournalist Jean-Paul Ney who was arrested two weeks ago in Ivory Coast for allegedly endangering state security.
"We are concerned by Ney’s prolonged detention," said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa office. "We call on the Ivorian authorities to make sure that all of his rights are respected. If the government is not going to charge him with a crime he should be released immediately."
Jean-Paul Ney was arrested on the evening of December 27 by Ivorian police near the headquarters of the Ivorian national television. He has been detained since then. According to sources, Ney, who allegedly filmed the building’s exterior, was interrogated by the Ivorian counter-intelligence services.
According to the local press, the journalist arrived in the country on December 10 and reportedly was there to report on the disarmament process.
The Ivorian government confirmed Ney’s arrest on January 6, stating that his detention was due to his involvement in the "subversive activities of Sergeant Ibrahim Coulibaly." Coulibaly, in exile in Benin, has been in the headlines of Ivorian media in recent weeks following the announcement that a coup d’état he allegedly fomented was foiled.
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in more than 120 countries