The International Federations of Journalists (IFJ) and its African group, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) today expressed its shock and sadness following the killings of three media workers in Guinea.
Independent sources and the Association of Journalists in Guinea, affiliated to the Federation of African Journalists, said that a visit to raise the awareness about the Ebola in the Womé village in the northwestern province of Nzérékoré ended in a tragedy in which nine people, including three media workers, were killed.
"We strongly condemn the murders of our colleagues who were just doing their job and extend our condolences to their families and colleagues,” said IFJ Africa Director Gabriel Baglo.
“These crimes must not go unpunished and the authorities have a duty to investigate and arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.”
The Prime Minister of Guinea, Mohamed Siad Fofana made a statement on the killings, saying that a delegation from the provincial administration in Nzérékoré had visited the Womé locality last Tuesday 16 September.
There were three media workers in the delegation, one journalist for FM Liberté radio station, Facély Camara, and two media workers of a local radio, Molou Chérif and SidikiSidibé.
The Prime Minister added that there was a hostile reaction to the message of awareness raising by the local people, victims of disinformation which either denies the existence of Ebola or claims that it is a creation to eliminate them.
Members of the delegation had to flee for their lives when the crowd began hurling stones at them and some managed to reach Nzérekoré but nine others went missing. A search mission later discovered their bodies, the Prime Minister said.
FAJ urges journalists to take all necessary measures to ensure their security and avoid infection while covering the epidemic. It further calls on African and international media to cover the Ebola disease which is affecting Western Africa in a professional and reasonable manner.
FAJ President Mohammed Garba made the appeal last week, requesting colleagues “To provide a responsible media reporting which seeks to inform without pandering to prejudice and panic. We also need to encourage people at all levels to take health measures in order to restrict the expansion of the disease, particularly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.”
For more information, please contact the FAJ Secretariat on: +221 33 867 95 86/87
FAJ represents more than 50.000 journalists in 40 countries in Africa