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Pro-Gbagbo journalist kidnapped, released

(MFWA/IFEX) - Serge Grah, a journalist and a contributor to pro-Gbagbo "Le Temps" newspaper was on 4 June 2011 abducted by six armed men believed to be elements of the Côte d'Ivoire Republican Forces (FRCI), loyal to President Alassane Ouattara.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the soldiers kidnapped Grah at about 7:30 GMT at his home in Youpogon, the largest suburb in Abidjan, the economic capital and a stronghold of former President Laurent Gbagbo. The journalist was released the same day.

Grah recently authored a book, "La misère de nos comportements", a collection of opinion pieces which violently attacked President Ouattara, France and the United Nations.

"I was not manhandled. They took away my computer. They closely examined my telephone address book. Even though they did not find anything incriminating, they drove me to the Locodjro commando camp. Once we got to the military camp, I was grilled for several hours and then detained in an office. They freed me in the evening and gave me back all the items they took from me," said the journalist in a telephone conversation.

Since ex-President Gbagbo was deposed on 11 April, many of his perceived and real supporters have suffered attacks. On 24 May, the personnel director of the company that publishes "Le Temps" newspaper was arrested by forces loyal to President Ouattara; she was freed later that same day. The body of Lago Sylvain Gagneto, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Radio Yopougon, was found among dozens of bodies buried in mass graves in Yopougon.

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