Guinea ALERT: Newspaper executive summoned by regulatory body

On March 25 and 26, 2015, Diallo Souleymane, General Manager of the Lynx newspaper, was summoned and questioned by Martine Condé, the new president of Guinea’s newly formed Haute Autorité de la Communication (HAC-High Communications Authority) which was inaugurated on March 10, 2015.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Guinea reported that Souleymane was summoned as a result of an article he wrote titled “La Martine à la tête de la HAC ! Du n’importe quoi” (Martine heads HAC! Anything goes).

The article, which was published in the March 16 edition of the Lynx newspaper, condemned a violation of Article 7 of the law on the HAC stipulating that “the President of the HAC shall be elected by his peers under the supervision of the Constitutional Court.” In the case in point, however, the new president and members of the HAC took an oath before a bailiff instead.

According to the MFWA’s correspondent, Souleymane, who took part in the drafting of the law on the HAC, also condemned the decree issued by Guinean President Alpha Condé. The president’s decree states that the members of the HAC should take an oath before the Supreme Court, whereas Article 7, Paragraph 2 of the law on the HAC simply requires the HAC president to declare his/her assets before taking office. Souleymane then wrote in his news article that these flaws render the election of Martine Condé and her peers “illegal, illegitimate and of no effect.”

According to the MFWA’s correspondent, the article irritated Condé, who claimed that Souleymane was attacking her. At the summons hearing, Souleymane reportedly said, “If you are not happy that I have condemned these serious violations of the law on the HAC, you have the right to lodge a complaint.”

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