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Guinean ruling party militants assault journalists, destroy equipment

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 27 August 2012, six journalists from the privately-owned Espace FM and Renaissance FM radio stations were severely beaten by a group of men believed to be supporters of the ruling People's Rally of Guinea (RPG).

The journalists, Abdourahmane Diallo, Moussa Moise Sylla and Tissata Diakité, from Espace FM, and Ibrahima Sory Soumah, Mahamadou Alpha Baldé and David Toundoufeindouno, from Renaissance FM, sustained serious bruising.

One of the journalists was seriously injured and required treatment at a hospital.

According to a Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent, the attack on the journalists occurred when they were on their way to report on opposition leaders who had been prevented by the police from demonstrating against the authorities in Matoto, a suburb of Conakry, the capital.

Upon arriving in Matoto, the vehicle conveying the journalists was stopped at a roadblock erected by ruling party militants, who smashed the car, then dragged the journalists out and beat them with tree trunks and leather belts.

According to the MFWA correspondent, the attackers threatened to kill the journalists should they return to the area and seized and destroyed their reporting equipment. The police intervened to free the journalists from the militants.

MFWA is concerned over this incident and demands that the authorities conduct an investigation and bring those responsible for the attack to justice.

In a separate incident on 31 August, two reporters for privately owned radio stations were manhandled by Guinean anti-riot police officers.

A correspondent for MFWA reported that the assault on Emmanuel Millimono, of Soleil FM, and Aissatou Diakité, of Espace FM, occurred while the journalists were covering a protest against the recent spate of police brutality and violence.

Officers tore the journalists' clothes and destroyed their recording equipment. The reporters were later detained at the departmental police station in Nongo, a district in Conakry, the capital.

According to the MFWA correspondent, police officers took offence to the journalists' presence, and thus insulted, threatened and arrested them.

The journalists spent three hours in detention and were then released by a senior police officer.

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