After blocking access to social media and jamming several radio stations for several weeks, the Guinean authorities have suspended the broadcasting of three TV channels without warning on “national security” grounds. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to end the censorship.

Canal+ satellite radio and TV subscribers to the Djoma, Evasion and Espace TV channels in Guinea are no longer getting any signal. On 6 December, Guinea’s media regulator, the High Authority for Communication (HAC), told Canal+ to stop transmitting the privately-owned news and entertainment radio and TV broadcaster Djoma on “national security” grounds and “until further notice.”

Three days later, the same grounds were given for ordering the withdrawal of two other privately-owned broadcasters, Évasion (TV and FM radio) and Espace (TV and FM radio). These channels have also been withdrawn from the StarTimes pay TV service in Guinea since 12 December, on the same grounds, with no further details provided. The head of StarTimes said he had received “an official order” but refused to answer RSF’s questions.

The FM radio signals of FIM FM, Djoma FM, Espace FM and Évasion have meanwhile been inaccessible for more than two weeks because they are being jammed without any explanation, while social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok still cannot be accessed without a VPN.

Djoma Média director-general Kalil Oularé told RSF he was “very surprised” by the suspension. “We received no prior summons,” he said. “This is a measure that the HAC does not normally have the authority to take in this way.” The HAC is supposed to give prior notification of such a decision, together with an explanation. Oularé said the HAC had received orders from the government authorities.

At a press conference at the end of November, government spokesperson Ousmane Gaoual Diallo – who is also Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy – claimed that the government was not responsible, although he also said the authorities would “wait to be officially contacted before reacting.”

Diallo was more forthcoming on X (ex-Twitter) on 9 December. He said: “The measures taken by the authorities are in no way intended to muzzle the press” and that they are “an immediate response to practices such as the promotion of community hatred, and the accentuation of social and political tensions.” But Diallo did not take issue with any specific content, with the result that media outlets in their entirety are being sanctioned. Neither Diallo nor the HAC’s president responded to RSF’s calls.


The scale of attacks on press freedom in Guinea is huge. Access to TV channels and radio stations has been suspended from one day to the next, depriving citizens of their right to information. The lack of transparency about these decisions, using the pretext of “national security,” is alarming, and furthermore discredits the media regulator’s supposed independence. We demand clear answers from the authorities and we urge them to do what is necessary to restore access to censored media outlets and social media.

Sadibou Marong
Director of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa bureau

Various censorship methods

A climate of hostility towards independent news media has been growing for weeks. The Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPT) notified Ndimba, an outspoken and critical radio station, on 11 December that its frequencies were to be withdrawn within three months for non-payment of its annual fees. Ndimba director Ibrahima Sory Traoré told RSF he has paid the fees and has the receipts to prove it. He said the authorities want to silence his radio, whose programmes include a morning show in which listeners can participate and a “very outspoken” editorial.

Meanwhile, the headquarters of Djoma Média no longer has Internet access. Oularé, its director-general, reports that technicians have told him that, “the ARPT has banned all providers from installing the Internet at Djoma”. And he added: “As we are in compliance on everything, they are resorting to stratagems from an earlier age to silence us.”


Reaction of media organisations

 “The situation is alarming – the Guinean authorities are breaking all rules in their actions against the media,” said Sékou Jamal Pendessa, the general secretary of the Guinea Press Professionals Union (SPPG), which organised a “day without media” stoppage on 11 December in protest against the oppressive climate. On 6 December, media associations declared five persons, including Prime Minister Bernard Goumou and Diallo, the government spokesman, to be “enemies of the press.”

Although the military gave RSF an undertaking to respect press freedom after seizing power in Guinea in a coup in October 2021, the situation of the media has worsened and press freedom violations have become more frequent since May. Social media and radio stations have been censored, news sites have been blocked for months on end without explanation, and reporters have been attacked in the field and arrested, while the often criticised military authorities have rarely commented on these acts of censorship. The targeted media have all been outspoken and critical.

78/ 180
Score : 59.97
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