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Guinean journalist's work must be considered as motive for his disappearance

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This statement was originally published on on 7 August 2015.

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Espace TV journalist Chérif Diallo's disappearance for the past two weeks, which is causing a great deal of agitation among his colleagues in Conakry.

Espace TV news director Moussa Moise Sylla said he was last seen driving away from the privately-owned TV station's Conakry headquarters on his motorcycle on 23 July after an apparent altercation with a group of men who seemed to have been waiting for him outside.

The motorcycle has not been found and his two phone lines have since been disconnected.

“We urge the Guinean authorities not to rule out the possibility that Diallo's disappearance is linked to his journalistic work,” Reporters Without Borders editor in chief Virginie Dangles said.

“It is important that the authorities should brief Diallo's family about developments in the investigation. As long as the cause of his disappearance remains unclear, it is vital that the investigators continue to be open to a possible link with his work. We still hope the authorities find him safe and sound.”

During a demonstration by journalists on 5 August about Diallo's disappearance, the president of Guinean private broadcasting asked Guinea's human rights minister about progress in the investigation. The minister replied: “Every unfortunate event happening to a journalist is not necessarily linked to freedom of expression.”

This is true, but the investigators should not at this stage dismiss the possibility that Diallo's disappearance is connected with his work.

Guinea is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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