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Newspaper intern arrested and detained at military prison

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 12 May 2010, Mohamed Fofana, an intern at the Conakry-based general information weekly "L'Indépendant", was picked up and detained at the PM3, a military prison facility notorious for acts of barbarism, on the orders of Madam Sangaré, director general of Soguitrans (Guinea National Transport Company).

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that on 11 May Fofana went to the offices of Soguitrans, located in the Conakry suburb of Matoto, to inquire about the announced bankruptcy of Soguitrans when Sangaré ordered the guards to seize his equipment and arrest him.

"The guards pounced on Mohamed Fofana. They beat him and seized his equipment. There and then, he was forcibly taken to the PM3, where he is still being held", Mahamdou Dian Baldé, editor-in-chief of "L'Indépendant," told the correspondent.

He continued, "We have heard nothing about Mr. Fofana since yesterday when he was arrested. We also do not know why the lady sent him to the PM3 which is not the place to detain someone for the violation of press laws."

Mohamed Fofana's arrest comes one week after the National Transition Council adopted the new press freedom law which decriminalises violations of press laws.

Soguitrans is a national urban and inter-urban transport company founded by the Guinean government through a loan from donors.

MFWA is seriously dismayed at the arrest and detention of Mohamed Fofana who was merely seeking information to do his work and vehemently condemns the detention of the journalist.

MFWA calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

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