On February 12, 2016, three gendarmes in Guinea beat up Boubakar Camara, a cameraman with privately-owned Gnagnan TV.
The MFWA’s correspondent in Guinea reported that Camara was attacked by the gendarmes while he was filming a protest in Nongo, a densely populated area in Conakry. The said protest was by a family (Bangoura) who were protesting against the Minister of Planning, Lounceny Camara whom the family accused of “attempting to dispossess” them of their piece of land at Nongo. The moment Camara began to film the agitations, the gendarmes, who were there to ensure order, subjected him to beatings and insults and destroyed his camera.
The Minister later promised to pay for the destroyed camera.
In Guinea, more than 95% of violations are perpetrated by gendarmes. Journalists are often attacked by gendarmes when they are reporting on activities such as demonstrations. The attack on Boubakar Camara is the second in two weeks in Guinea. On February 5, 2016, a reporter with the Guinée 7 website, El Hadj Mohamed Diallo, was shot dead while covering a violent conflict between two factions of the Union des Forces Démocratiques de la Guinée, UFDG political party.
The MFWA condemns the assault on Boubakar Camara by the gendarmes. To be able to play their role effectively in advancing democracy and good governance, it is important for journalists to operate in safety and without fear of any interference. We call on the authorities in Guinea to help create such an environment for the media by bringing to book the perpetrators of recent acts of violence against journalists in order to deter future offenders.