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Guinea’s state-controlled media regulatory agency this week imposed a “temporary” ban on media coverage of the 19 July attack on the private residence of President Alpha Condé, silencing private radio and television debate programmes in which questions were being raised over the event.
Radio France Internationale (RFI), a popular international radio station in French-speaking Africa that had originally planned to debate the attack during one of its daily news call-in programmes, has felt the pressure of the ban. Its deputy director told the Committee to Protect Journalists: “We are not submitting to a censorship measure; we regret it and we hope that it will be temporary.” In the past, RFI has had its broadcasts temporarily banned and reporters expelled in several sub-Saharan African countries, though it continues to assert its editorial independence.
BBC Radio and Radio France International (RFI) are now off air in Ivory Coast. The government of Laurent Gbagbo denies taking action against the radio stations, but in the past the government has blocked both these stations. Pro- and anti-government media have complained of threats, harassment and attacks.