2004 Documented Cases – Guinea

MAY 3, 2004
Posted: May 5, 2004

Jeune Afrique L'Intelligent

Authorities in Guinea blocked distribution of the May 2-8 edition of the France-based news weekly Jeune Afrique L'Intelligent, which carried an exclusive interview with François Lonsény Fall, who had just resigned as Guinea's prime minister.

The magazine's May 2-8 edition was expected on the streets of the capital, Conakry, on May 3 but did not appear. CPJ sources say copies of the magazine were still at the distribution company SOGUIDIP after the Interior Ministry withheld permission to distribute them. Guinean law requires all publications to have permission from the ministry before distributing.

Marwane Ben Yahmed, Paris-based editor of Jeune Afrique L'Intelligent, confirmed that the issue had not been allowed on newsstands in Guinea. He said the magazine had been given no notification or explanation why. Ben Yahmed said he believes that the publication was censored because of the interview with Lonsény Fall, who announced in Paris on April 30 that he was resigning because of differences with Guinean President Lansana Conté. Lonsény Fall has been highly critical of President Conté. Guinean authorities might also be angered by the interview because they have not yet officially announced Lonsény Fall's resignation, he said.

Local journalists echoed Ben Yahmed's concerns, saying they also believe that the edition was censored because of the interview with Lonsény Fall.

This is the second time in six months that an issue of Jeune Afrique L'Intelligent has been censored in Guinea. Authorities banned the December 7, 2003, edition of the weekly because of an article alleging that Guinean authorities had secretly arrested dozens of army officers on suspicion of planning a coup.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2004
Posted: October 7, 2004

Le Petit Matin

On orders of Security Minister Moussa Sampil, 950 copies of the private weekly Le Petit Matin were confiscated from newsstands in the capital, Conakry. According to local sources, the seizure stemmed from an article alleging Sampil's involvement in the repression of opposition groups in Guinea.

A local organization of independent publishers (known by its French acronym, AGEPI), protested the confiscation, and presented the minister with a bill for all the copies seized.

NOVEMBER 13, 2004
Posted: January 18, 2005

Le Quotidien

The government's National Communications Council (CNC) suspended the private newspaper Le Quotidien for an "unlimited duration" and accused it of undermining "peace, tranquility, and democracy." According to local sources, the suspension stemmed from an article in Le Quotidien criticizing the political and economic situation in Guinea and calling for a national "revolt against our bad practices, our bad reflexes, and our bad choices."

The CNC lifted the suspension on December 8. The paper did not immediately resume publishing due to lost revenue and other financial strain caused by its suspension.

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