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Managing editor of paper, general administrator of media group arrested; two newspaper vendors harassed by military officer

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 18 December 2008, Thiernodjo Dayedio Diallo, managing editor of "La Verité", was arrested and detained at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police in Guinea.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that personnel of the CID picked up Thiernodjo from his office and sent him to the CID headquarters where he was subjected to several hours of interrogation before being detained.

The correspondent said the arrest and subsequent detention of the editor followed an open letter he wrote and published in the 12 December edition of "La Verité" newspaper requesting the country's head of state to dismiss the prime minister, Dr. Ahmed Tidiane Souare, on grounds of "non-performance and outright incompetence".

The correspondent stated that following the publication of the letter, the police placed the newspaper's offices under surveillance and interrogated all members of staff, resulting in the journalists deserting their office to escape arrest.

In another development, on 17 December, Diallo Souleymane, general administrator of the privately-owned Le Lynx Media Group, was also arrested and grilled by the presidential security. According to the correspondent, his arrest came as a result of two articles published about the health of General Lansana Conte.

Earlier, on 16 December, two newspaper vendors were accosted and harassed by a military officer for selling "Echos de Guinée" which criticised him (the officer) on its front page.

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