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Radio stations self-censor; foreign journalists barred

After last month's massacre of protesters, the Guinean junta continues to threaten local journalists; several French journalists were barred from entering the country.
After last month's massacre of protesters, the Guinean junta continues to threaten local journalists; several French journalists were barred from entering the country.

via Human Rights Watch

Private radio stations have cancelled political programmes in Guinea as journalists continue to be harassed by opposition supporters and the military after last month's massacre at an opposition rally, says the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Also, Guinea's military denied entry to several French journalists on 17 October and continues to monitor and threaten local journalists, reports Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

This month, civilians forced their way into one radio studio, threatening staff, claiming that the station supported the junta, reports MFWA. Another journalist told MFWA that he was threatened and ordered not to air criticism of the junta. A journalist from "Familia FM" said he was accused of supporting the junta as individuals tried to destroy the station, adding that the station was saved by security forces.

"Private radio stations are being intimidated and threatened on a daily basis, so we do not want to take risks. We will, therefore, play music to avoid raids," a member of the Guinea Association of Private Radio Stations told MFWA.

Meanwhile, Guinea's military has banned French journalists from reporting on rights violations in the country, reports RSF. Three French journalists working for the TV news station France 24 were refused entry at Conakry airport and returned to Paris. Three other French journalists from the TV station France 2 were forced to return to Senegal after arriving the same day from the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

RSF says, "After physically mistreating and then threatening local journalists, the Guinean military have begun a new phase in their handling of undesired witnesses."

Local journalists are being kept under surveillance by the military and continue to receive death threats, says RSF. There could be more atrocities if Guinea's journalists are not protected.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
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  • Military authorities bar foreign journalists

    The latest development coincides with the arrival of the UN assistant secretary-general in Conakry to conduct a probe into last month's massacre of opposition demonstrators.



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