Ousmane Sy Savané, the director general of the Cyclone newspaper group, has not been arrested because of his activities as a media owner but because he is suspected of “endangering state security,” an interior ministry official told Reporters Without Borders this morning without providing any further information.
28.03.2012 - Why is police intelligence holding opposition media executive?
Reporters Without Borders calls on the interior ministry to immediately account for media executive Ousmane Sy Savané’s arrest yesterday by the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DST), a police intelligence agency. Savané is director general of Cyclone, a company that publishes the opposition dailies Le Temps and LG Info.
“If the DST, an interior ministry offshoot, is holding Savané then it should acknowledge this and should publicly say what he is accused of. Was he arrested for a common crime or was he arrested for a press offence? We call on the authorities to release this journalist, who is the second media executive to be arrested by the DST in less than two months, following Le Patriote managing editor Charles Sanga at the start of February.”
Savané was arrested at around 1 p.m. yesterday at Cyclone’s offices in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Riviera Deux by police officers who removed computer equipment belonging to the company.
This morning, the DST denied holding Savané, but his car is parked in the DST building’s courtyard and several sources say he was taken there after his arrest.
Reporters Without Borders today reached a DST superintendent who said he was not available to answer questions. The organization also spoke to interior ministry spokesperson Nina Bintou Touré, who promised to contact senior DST and police officials in order to shed light on the matter.
Savané is a member of the Côte d'Ivoire press owners association. His company, Cyclone, was for a long time owned by former President Laurent Gbagbo’s second wife, Nady Bamba.
Photo : The frontpage of Le Temps Newspaper (March 28th, 2012).