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Journalist murdered, another abducted in Côte d'Ivoire

A man reads newspapers in Abidjan, 14 March 2011.
A man reads newspapers in Abidjan, 14 March 2011.

Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the climate of intimidation for Ivorian journalists after Tomorrow Magazine editor Désiré Oué's murder on 14 November and Le Nouveau Réveil reporter Dieusmonde Tadé's overnight abduction four days later.

“Even if the current state of the investigation into Désiré Oué's murder does not allow us to link it to his journalistic work, these two events in the space of a week suggest a threatening environment for media workers,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“We hope the authorities will make every effort to restore a climate of safety for journalists. President Ouattara undertook, on World Press Freedom Day, to ensure that 'journalists can work with complete freedom' and we urge him to keep this pledge.”

Oué was murdered at his home on 14 November by armed men who appeared to be carrying out a burglary. Kidnapped on 18 November, Tadé was released the next day 60 km outside Abidjan. He had previously received death threats over an article in which he referred to a former warlord in the pro-Ouattara rebellion.

This is the second time since Alassane Ouattara replaced Laurent Gbagbo as president two and a half years ago that an Ivorian journalist has been killed in unclear circumstances. Sylvain Gagnetaud of Radio Yopougon was killed during a military operation by pro-Ouattara forces in the northern town of Yopougon in May 2011.

The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (ONUCI) issued a statement yesterday appealing to “all parties concerned to work for freedom of information and expression.”

Côte d'Ivoire is ranked 96th out of 179 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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