Mamadou Sire Diallo, a reporter with the privately-owned satirical newspaper, Le Lynx, was badly beaten on June 19, 2013, by a group of policemen at the capital, Conakry. Diallo met his ordeal when he was covering a confrontation between some political party supporters in Conakry.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s monitor in the country reported that Diallo has been admitted at a hospital with injuries to his head and temples while his reporting equipment was confiscated by the officers.
Narrating the incident to MFWA’s monitor, Diallo said when the police officers saw him they shouted that he is a spy and pounced on him. One officer slapped him and another rained blows on him. They tore his clothes and seized his dictaphone and camera.
“I told them that I was a journalist. I showed them my press card. But they rained blows on me and dragged me into the mud,” Diallo said.
The MFWA condemns this act of lawlessness by the police officers and call on the media association and groups including the management of Le Lynx to lodge a complaint against the police officers.
We specifically, call on Madifing Diane, the Head of the Guinea Police Force, to as a matter of urgency subject his officers to professional training, especially in media relations in the build up to the country’s legislative elections in July this year.
We make this call at a time that state-perpetrated attacks against the media are on the increase. Within this year alone dozens of journalists and media organizations have been assaulted by security forces and not even one of such cases has been investigated or prosecuted.
For instance, within a period of two months (March – April) uniformed police officers besieged the premises of the Conakry-based Planete FM and fired shots at the radio station. Yet these officers have not been arrested and dealt with.