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Guinean reporter attacked, detained for covering political rally

In the past two weeks, Guinean media have suffered a series of attacks for covering and reporting on rallies held by the ruling party, the People's Rally of Guinea (RPG).

Supporters of the RPG and soldiers attached to President Alpha Condé's security detail have reportedly attacked a number of journalists and ransacked a radio station, Bate FM, for covering the president's rallies.

David Tchopn Bangoura, a reporter for privately-owned radio station, Lynx FM, is the latest journalist to suffer harassment at the hands of angry RPG supporters.

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s monitor, on August 24, 2013, the angry supporters accosted Bangoura and threatened to lynch him for covering the day's rally without authorization from the RPG.

“They then handed him over to the gendarmes, who detained him for almost six (6) hours,” the monitor added.

“They insulted me and called me a dog in the pay of the opposition. Some of them nearly lynched me. It is a public rally and there is no indication that journalists are prohibited from covering this event,” Bangoura told the monitor.

The MFWA condemns the silence of the leadership of the RPG – particularly of President Condé – to address these attacks and call their supporters to order.

As Guineans await the parliamentary elections scheduled for September 24, 2013, we urge the government to appreciate the critical role of the media in promoting and ensuring a peaceful election.

We regret the many violent clashes between security and opposition groups in the build-up to the election and plead with His Excellency to safeguard freedom of expression as well as the media's rights.

The MFWA also intensifies its call on civil society groups, the media regulatory body and journalists associations and groups to stand up in solidarity and petition the ruling party and the presidency to redress the recent spate of attacks and allow for the media's coverage of their activities.

Click here to see other freedom of expression violations in Guinea.

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