August 22, 2019

Guinea: RSF decries judicial harassment of Conakry radio station

@Photo AFP
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the illegal judicial harassment of two Guinean radio journalists who have been placed under judicial control because of the corruption allegations made by a listener during a phone-in programme. The proceedings against these journalists must be dropped.

Boubacar Alghassimou Diallo, the host of the “Œil du lynx” phone-in programme on Conakry-based Lynx FM, was placed under judicial control on a charge of “complicity in the dissemination of data likely to disturb public security” when he appeared in court on August 21 in Conakry.


Explaining the judicial control measures, his lawyer, Salifou Béavogui, said: “Our client is banned from leaving the Conakry area without the judge’s permission. He must report to the court on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and he cannot present the programme until further notice.”


Souleymane Diallo, a former RSF correspondent who is CEO of the Lynx/Lance/Lynx FM media group, was placed under judicial control on 19 August. He is required to report to the court every Wednesday and Friday.


The two journalists are charged in connection with the “Œil du lynx” broadcast two weeks ago in which a listener accused a government official of misappropriating allowances that should have been paid to Guinean soldiers participating in an international military mission in northern Mali.


“We are deeply concerned about this new form of censorship, which is a blatant violation of the law in a country where press offences have been decriminalized since 2010,” said Assane Diagne, the head of RSF’s West Africa office. “Using the cyber-crime law to charge the journalists is just a subterfuge in order to be able to continue harassing independent media.”


The Guinean authorities often flout the decriminalization of press offences. The manager of the Conakry Live news website, Lansana Camara, spent a week in police custody in March because of an article about an alleged case of public funds being embezzled by the authorities.


Guinea is ranked 107th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.