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Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Guinea

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1999
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1998 - Guinea, February 1999, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5656f23.html [accessed 24 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

As of December 31, 1998

Lansana Conte, who seized power in a 1984 military coup d'état and assumed the presidency in the 1993 elections that were widely condemned for their vote-counting irregularities, was re-elected to a second term in December. Less than 24 hours after the elections, Alpha Conde, leader of the opposition Guinean People's Rally (RPG), was arrested. Conde was subsequently charged with plotting to overthrow the government – an allegation that has been denounced by both citizens and international observers.

Government-owned broadcast media and the country's only daily newspaper, which rarely publishes opposition viewpoints or critiques of the government, provided one-sided coverage of the elections. Journalists who tried to provide balanced coverage ran afoul of the authorities. On December 24, the National Council on Communications (CNC) revoked the accreditation of Mouctar Bah, Conakry correspondent for Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Radio France Internationale (RFI), for the "malicious character" of his election coverage.

Although several independent weeklies scrutinize the government, these newspapers operate under the constant threat of seditious libel charges for any coverage deemed insulting to the president. The constitution provides for some freedom of expression, but defamation and slander are criminal offenses.

Foreign journalists were expelled this year for their coverage of socio-economic problems arising from the increasing number of refugees streaming into Guinea to escape conflicts in neighboring countries.

Attacks on the Press in Guinea in 1998

DateJournalistIncident
3/17/98Abdoulaye Sankara, L'IndependentHarassed
3/16/98Saliou Samb, L'IndependentExpelled
3/8/98Aboubacar Conde, L'IndependentHarassed
1/7/98Foday Fofana, L'Independent, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)Expelled
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