Joseph Siba Guilavogui, managing editor of Le Fouineur, a bi-monthly publication, and the Guinée Sud Info website, was on July 16, 2014, attacked by some members of the Gendarmerie, while he was covering the eviction of some residents of a populous area in the Guinean capital, Conakry.
The MFWA’s correspondent in the country reported that the editor was questioning some of the evicted persons when the gendarmes surrounded him. One of the gendarmes gave him two slaps while another floored him and dragged him on the floor. His clothes got torn and his equipment destroyed in the process.
“I was dragged around like a thug. They spoilt my belt and tore my trousers and shirt”, Guilavogui told our correspondent.
After meting out the cruel act to the journalist, one of the gendarmes reportedly said, “Damned journalist, go and make a report wherever you want”.
However a few hours after the incident, the leader of the gendarmes who were undertaking the eviction went to the press Centre to apologise. On the orders of the commander of the National Gendarmerie, General Mamadou Baldé, the gendarmes who assaulted the journalist were arrested and detained, while Guilavogui, was admitted at a hospital.
While the MFWA commends the action of the Commander of the National Gendarmerie in taking action against his men who assaulted the journalist, we urge the Guinean security agencies to recognize the important role in the media plays and accord them the necessary respect and cooperation in their line of duty.