The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) strongly condemns the attack on journalist, Oumar Cissé, by law enforcement officers, and calls on the authorities in Guinea to bring the perpetrators to book.
On January 4, 2023, Cissé, a reporter of the Djoma FM press group in Siguiri, a town in northeastern Guinea (located 761 km away from the capital city Conakry) was assaulted by law enforcement officers. The journalist was covering a demonstration by the people of Siguiri who were demanding the return of a political figure dismissed from office, when he was set upon.
“I was severely beaten by these police officers deployed to maintain order. I was insulted. I was injured by one of them. I even nearly lost my eye,” said the journalist who was receiving treatment in hospital.
The violent attack has since caused an outcry with several journalists and media rights defenders, including the Union des Radios et Télévisions Libres de Guinée (Urtelgui), condemning it.
The Urtelgui through its President, Aboubacar Camara, expressed indignation at the attack, describing it as “shameful” and “a sad beginning for the Guinean press in the year 2023.”
Mr. Camara also called on the Ministers of Security and Territorial Administration to explain the circumstances of the attack on a journalist who was only doing his job.
The Urtelgui has since also announced its intention to file a complaint against the police officers who brutalized the journalist.
The MFWA joins the organizations of media practitioners in Guinea, including the Urtelgui, to express solidarity with journalist Oumar Cissé. We reiterate our call on the Guinean authorities to punish the perpetrators for this shameful attack so as to instil deterrence against any form of impunity for violations against journalists.