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Two detained TV journalists charged, denied bail

(MFWA/IFEX) - Ladji Aboubacar Sanogo and Kangbé Yayoro, two reporters of pro-Ouattara Télévision Notre Patrie (TVNP) in Bouaké, the second largest city in Côte d'Ivoire, were sent back to prison custody on 24 February 2011 after being denied bail by the public prosecutor's office in connection with alleged terrorists activities.

Sanogo and Kangbé are facing a charge relating to an "offence against national security" for working for TVNP, which belongs to the Forces Nouvelles, which waged a rebellion against Gbagbo's government in the early 2000s. Their trial was due to commence on 28 February.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the Public Prosecutor's office in Abidjan (Plateau), presided over by Justice Mme Guéhi Kointahin Nathalie, refused the bail on the grounds that the case of the two journalists has not been heard. The correspondent said this followed an application for bail filed on 21 February by Coulibaly Brahima and Soro Idrissa, lawyers of the accused.

Sanogo and Kangbé have been in detention since their arrest by the Defence and Security Forces of the Ivorian army, loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, on 28 January. After their arrest, they were tortured severely and sent to the headquaters of the National Gendarmerie before being transferred to the Abidjan civil Prison (MACA) on 18 February.

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