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Two detained journalists released

(MFWA/IFEX) – 3 February 2012 – Two journalists with "Le Patriote", a pro-Ouattara daily newspaper, who had been detained by the National Surveillance Directorate (DST), were on the evening of February 1, 2012 released without charge.

Charles Sanga, managing editor of the paper, was arrested on January 31, 2012 after he refused to disclose the source of a story that ran in the publication. Jean-Claude Coulibaly, the author of the story, was detained on the afternoon of February 1 after responding to a summons by the DST.

The intelligence agency accused the two of "publishing confidential information" after "Le Patriote" broke the story of the invalidation of eleven seats in last year's parliamentary elections ahead of an official announcement by the country's Constitutional Council. MFWA's correspondent said, however, that it was not clear whether charges would be pressed against them or not.

MFWA adds its voice to the widespread condemnation of the authorities for forcing the journalists to reveal their source. We believe the arrest and subsequent detention of the two journalists was unjustified and constitutes an attack on press freedom in Cote d'Ivoire.
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