Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the severe beating that journalist Thierno Amadou Camara received from members of the ruling RPG Arc-en-ciel party in the eastern city of Siguiri on 5 October, six days before Sunday’s presidential election.
A reporter for the online daily Guinée Matin (guineematin.com), Thierno Amadou Camara had gone to Siguiri to cover the tension between rival ruling party factions and was interviewing the city’s mayor when he was assaulted and repeatedly hit by party activists armed with stones and clubs, who seized his camera and threatened to kill him. He is still in a state of shock. “We call on the authorities to immediately open an independent and transparent investigation with the aim of identifying those responsible for this attack and bringing them to justice,” Reporters Without Borders editor in chief Virginie Dangles said. “We remind the Guinean authorities that they have a duty to guarantee the safety of journalists, who play a key role in the electoral process by covering what happens and reporting all the different views that are expressed. We therefore ask President Alpha Condé to send his supporters a clear message that violence against journalists will not be tolerated.” Last June, the High Authority for Communication (HAC) issued a directive asking the media “to refrain from using opinion genres such as editorials, commentaries or columns” during the run-up to the presidential election. It triggered such an outcry that the HAC issued an amended version that nonetheless continued to impose disturbing restrictions on freedom of information. Guinea is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.