February 9, 2016 - Updated on March 8, 2016

Reporter fatally shot while covering opposition party meeting

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is deeply shocked by the death of El Hadj Mohamed Diallo, a reporter for the news website, who was fatally injured when shots were fired during the general assembly of Guinea’s main opposition party, the Union of Guinean Democratic Forces (UFDG), on 5 February.

It is still not known who fired the shot that struck Diallo in the chest while he was covering the meeting. He died of the injury shortly after being admitted to Conakry’s Donka Hospital.

The shooting started during clashes between supporters of UFDG president Cellou Dalein Diallo and supporters of Bah Oury, the party’s former deputy leader, who wanted to attend the meeting although Oury was recently expelled from the party.

“We deplore this journalist’s death during the performance of his duties and we hope that the investigation will lead to the identification of those responsible as quickly as possible,” said Clea Kahn-Sriber, the head of RSF’s Africa desk.

Guinea’s main press associations – GUIPEL, URTELGUI, AGEPI, UPLG and REMIGUI – have registered as interested parties in the investigation opened by the judicial authorities. A day without newspapers has been announced for today as a sign of mourning for Diallo.

Guinea’s main opposition party has been torn by internal disputes ever since Oury’s return to Guinea on 24 January after four years in France. Sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in connection with a coup attempt in 2011, he was granted a pardon by President Alpha Condé last December

Guinea is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

© Photo AFP