News

June 11, 2013 - Updated on January 20, 2016

"You journalists talk too much. You are spies, we are going to tear you apart”


Reporters Without Borders is very worried about a decline in security for news providers in the Guinean capital of Conakry during the past two months. At least 15 journalists have been physically attacked and have had equipment damaged in growing political tension since President Alpha Condé announced on 13 April that he had decided to hold parliamentary elections on 30 June. More than a dozen people have been killed and 100 wounded in clashes between demonstrators and security forces during opposition demonstrations. “The climate for journalists covering political developments on the grounds is now appalling,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They are exposed both to violence by the security forces and the hostility of some over-excited demonstrators." “The physical attacks on journalists in recent weeks constitute flagrant violations of freedom of information. We point out that proper and transparent elections are impossible without guarantees for pluralism and the safety of reporters.” Six journalists with privately-owned radio Lynx FM and at least nine other reporters have been attacked by demonstrators or groups involved in violence. One reporter told the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) he was targeted for being a journalist. A young demonstrator shouted at him: “You journalists talk too much. You are spies, we are going to tear you apart.” Thierno Alpha Ibrahima Balde of Lynx FM was deliberately targeted by policemen, who beat him with rifle butts and destroyed his equipment. He was transferred to a Conakry hospital in a serious condition. Here is a non-exhaustive list of journalists who have been attacked in the course of their work (Journalist, media, date, location): - Djamila Thianguel Bah, Lynx FM, 2 May 2013, Conakry airport - Thierno Alpha Ibrahima Balde, Lynx FM, 23 May 2013, Bambeto district - Mohamed Bangoura, Lynx FM, 2 May 2013, Conakry airport - Mamadou Bobo Barry, Lynx FM, 18 April 2013, RPG headquarters, Hamdallaye district - Idiatou Diallo, Lynx FM, 18 April 2013, RPG headquarters, Hamdallaye district - Asmou Diallo, Lynx FM, 18 April 2013, "Petit Lac" Taouyah district - Souleymane Bah, Espace FM, 2 May 2013, Conakry airport - Amadou Bah, Bonheur FM, 2 May 2013, Conakry airport - Ibrahima Sory Cisse, Bonheur FM, 2 May 2013, La Casse district - Moussa Cepha Camara , Planète FM, 23 May 2013, Conakry airport - Mohamed Albe Bangoura, Horizon FM, 18 April 2013, La Casse district - N'Fanly Guilavogui, Evasion FM, 18 April 2013, La Casse district - Saran Camara, Evasion FM, 18 April 2013 - Dialo Bachir, Evasion FM - Elhadj Oumar Barry, Evasion FM The opposition has been holding demonstrations in Conakry since mid-April in protest against the lack of consensus about the holding of “free and transparent” elections. Opposition coalition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo questions the impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). When violence intensified from 22 to 25 May, President Condé rushed back from Addis Ababa, where the African Union was holding a meeting to mark the 50th anniversary of its creation. “No one should be a victim because of their origins or opinions,” Condé said, asking the justice ministry to “shed light” on the violence. More information about media freedom in Guinea: - Press releases - RWB’s country file Photograph: Protests in Conakry (Cellou Binani - AFP)