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Newspaper reporter summoned for questioning

(MFWA/IFEX) - On May 7, 2010, Diarra Youssouf, also known as Gnaore David, a reporter for the Gagnoa-based pro-opposition daily newspaper "L'Expression" in Cote d'Ivoire, was summoned for questioning by the Regional Police Commander for allegedly relaying information to France 24 television station and other Ivorian media.

According to Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent, the summons was linked to Youssouf's footage of a demonstration against President Laurent Gbagbo's call for the dissolution of the government and the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI). The demonstration was organised by the Rallye des Houphouétistes pour la Démocratie et pour la Paix (RHDP), a coalition of the four main opposition parties in the country.

On February 19, the date set for the demonstration, the RHDP activists descended on the streets to protest what they referred to as a "coup d'état". The security forces fired live bullets at the protesters, killing five people and wounding others. Youssouf filmed the clampdown and relayed the footage to some of the media in Cote d'Ivoire, including France 24 television station.

The journalist, who did not deny using the information when confronted by the police commander, was carrying on with his normal duties until May 5, when he was summoned to the police station.

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