5 June 2000


News presenters jailed, news broadcasts suspended

Incident details

Paula Melho, Yussuf Keita

(IPI/IFEX) - In a 29 May 2000 letter to Prime Minister Gaetano Intchama, IPI strongly condemned the jailing of Yussuf Keita, a news presenter, and Paula Melho, also a news presenter and responsible for the contents of the news at RTGB, the Radio and Television of Guinea-Bissau. IPI also strongly condemned the suspension of the TV news' regular broadcasts since the arrests.

According to IPI's sources, the two journalists were arrested in the evening of 27 May, after having presented a press release of opposition politician Fernando Gomez. In that press release, the prime minister was reportedly accused of tribalism in the manning of civic and government posts, among other things.

IPI was informed that the journalists were first summoned to the prime minister's office after the broadcast. They were then taken directly to a police station and to jail, with no possibility of seeing visitors.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the prime minister:

- stating that you regard the incarceration of journalists and the prohibition of jail visits to the journalists as a gross violation of everyone's right to "seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media" as guaranteed by Article 19 of the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights

- urging His Excellency to ensure that the two journalists are immediately and unconditionally released

- further urging him to ensure that the TV news of the RTGB is allowed to resume broadcasting and that Guinea-Bissau's journalists are allowed to carry out their professional activities without further harassment

Appeals To


His Excellency Gaetano Intchama
Prime Minister
Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
Fax: +322 640 43 12 (c/o Guinea-Bissau Embassy in Brussels)

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.


International Press Institute
Spiegelgasse 2
1010 Vienna
ipi (@) freemedia.at
Fax:+43 1 5129014
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