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Satirical newspaper in Côte d'Ivoire banned from publishing for eight editions

(MFWA/IFEX) - Bôl' Kotch, a privately-owned satirical newspaper that published a cartoon story about President Alassane Outarra, was on 8 August 2012 banned from publishing for eight editions by the National Press Council (CNP), the statutory regulatory body.

A Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that, although the newspaper publishes mainly humour-oriented items, the CNP found some of its publications offensive.

In a communiqué issued on 12 August, the CNP sought to suggest that the newspaper in its 27 July edition carried a series of articles that flouted media laws and ethical codes.

According to the CNP, the newspaper in one such article produced a cartoon of President Outarra speaking with Chief of Defence Staff General Soumaïla Bakayoko and Dozo, a traditional hunter.

"The contents of these articles as well as the cartoons illustrating them and the message they seek to convey are insulting, defamatory, offensive and promote tribalism and hatred of state institutions and persons who represent them," the communiqué read.

The regulatory body explained that the length of the ban was informed by numerous warnings and reprimands issued previously to the newspaper.

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