Cote d’Ivoire UPDATE: Pro-Ouattara newspapers resume publication

The group of newspapers supporting Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised President of Cote d’Ivoire, which stopped publishing on March 1, 2011, to protest against intimidation and harassment from pro-Gbagbo authorities, on March 7, resumed publishing after a meeting in Abidjan.

According to the group, the suspension of their action had become necessary as it would enable them to continue with the struggle of ensuring that Ouattara assumes the presidency as was clearly demonstrated by Ivoirians in the second round of the presidential round-off election in November, 2010.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that what provoked the action of these newspapers was the alleged mistreatment of some of the newspapers by the Gbagbo-controlled National Press Council (CNP). On February 25, 2011 the CNP suspended Le Nouveau Réveil for one week and imposed fines between 1 and 2 million CFA francs (about US$2,066 and 4,132) on three other dailies, Le Patriote, Nord-Sud and Le Jour Plus.

Earlier, editors and representatives of six pro-Ouattara newspapers had been grilled by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ivorian Police at the behest of the public prosecutor over their news reports in the wake of the political crisis, in the country.

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