14 March 2008


Journalist detained briefly, interrogated by intelligence services following publication of article on army's involvement in police force promotions

Incident details

Atizar Mendes Pereira


(MFWA/IFEX) - On 11 March 2008, Atizar Mendes Pereira, journalist and director of "Última Hora", a privately-owned Bissau-based newspaper, was arrested and detained by the Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Interior of Guinea Bissau.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that Pereira was interrogated for nearly six hours, before being released.

The correspondent said the arrest of the journalist followed the publication of an article in "Última Hora", which said that the Chief of Staff of the country's Armed Forces, General Baptista Tagme Nawaie, intended to disarm the men from the police stations in the capital, Bissau.

Pereira later told the media that despite the psychological torture he suffered, he still stands by his story and that he would not retract even a comma.

Two organisations, the National Union of Journalists and Social Communications Technicians and the Human Rights League, have condemned the arrest and detention of the journalist.

According to the Human Rights League, the action of the State Intelligence was illegal and violates the principle of the rule of law of the country.


Media Foundation for West Africa
PO Box LG 730
30 Duade Street, Kokomlemle
Legon, Accra
alerts (@) mediafound.org
Fax:+233 21 221084
More from Guinea-Bissau
  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Guinea-Bissau

    In August, at the peak of the year’s political crisis, the government replaced the heads of the public television and radio services, and the latter was prevented from broadcasting parliamentary debates.

  • Freedom of the Press 2015: Guinea Bissau

    Ranked 127th in annual global media freedom report

  • Freedom of the Press 2014: Guinea-Bissau

    Ranked 152nd in annual global media freedom report