Koné Souleymane, a journalist of privately-owned koaci.com, an online newspaper was on July 19, 2012 arrested by gendarmes and detained for many hours at the security squad offices in Plateau, a district in Abidjan. His arrest was after Coulibaly Soungalo, a lawyer for the ruling Republican People’s Rally (RDR), had accused him of slander.
The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent reported that Soungalo in the company of four gendarmes stormed the office of the newspaper at Plateau and without an arrest warrant forcibly seized the journalist, handcuffed him into a vehicle and drove off. It was reported that Souleymane who was arrested and interrogated at about 4:30pm was released around 11:00pm without any charge(s).
According to the correspondent, the lawyer apart from accusing the journalist of defaming him in a July 19 publication headlined “Racket in businesses: OLAM sues a RDR lawyer”, also harassed him (journalist) to disclose the name of his source. As he refused to name his source, he was humiliated by the gendarmes who took him away “like a thief”, the correspondent reported. Upon Souleyman’s release, the lawyer refused to press charges against him.
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