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Journalists Eddy Péhé, Nanankona Gnamantéh arrested following publication of article linking president to corruption

(MFWA/IFEX) - Two journalists of "Repère", a pro-opposition weekly newspaper, will appear before the Plateau Magistrate court in Abidjan on 24 March 2009 to answer a criminal charge of insulting the Ivorian head of state, Laurent Gbagbo.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that Eddy Péhé and Nanankona Gnamantéh, managing editor and reporter respectively, were arrested on 19 March and detained by the National Gendarmerie following an article the "Repère" published linking President Gbagbo to acts of corruption.

On 6 March, the correspondent stated that the newspaper published an article headlined: "Ali Baba and the 40 thieves", claiming that President Gbagbo had "encouraged all cases of theft under his regime". In the same article, the two journalists accused President Gbagbo of putting Côte d'Ivoire on the list of the world's poorest countries, in order to receive an annual gift of CFA Francs 400 billion (approx. US$842,406) to cover alleged embezzlement of state funds that has occurred under his regime.

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