Burkina Faso ALERT: Publisher held for questioning

Officers of the police investigation squad have arrested and detained Lierme Dieudonne Somé, publisher of the Le Indépendant weekly newspaper.

Dieudonne Somé was arrested on Tuesday, May 14, 2002, in connection with a newspaper story, based on a statement issued by the human rights organisation, Mouvement Burkinabe des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples (MBDHP), which imputed police involvement in the suspicious death of one Mahamedi Bontcoungou. Mahamedi Bontcoungou’s body was found on the premises of the gendarmerie in Ouagadougou.

According to M. Somé, he was interrogated for three hours by police officers Major Boubacar Yago and Lieutenant Yaya Traore for the banner headline of the paper, which said, “The Police Have Killed Again In Ouaga.”

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns the detention of M. Somé. We encourage a preference for the remedies of media complaint settlement commissions, or even the recourse to due process, rather than the resort to intimidation and harassment.

The MFWA requests you to protest the extra judicial action of the police gendarmerie in Burkina Faso.

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