Guinea: President Alpha Condé suspends journalists by decree

President Alpha Conde has suspended by decree the Managing Director of the Guinean Radio and Television Network, Yamoussa Sidibe and three other top officials for what is described as a serious offense.
The suspension of Mr. Sidibe together with the Director of Television, Fode Tass Sylla and Director of Transmission Services of the national broadcaster, was by a decree read during the national television’s prime-time news programme on 20th October, 2015.
According to the MFWA correspondent in Guinea, the decision follows a botched transmission of the ceremony held to declare provisional results of the recent presidential elections. The transmission was without sound and the images were unstable, hitches that the president considers as sabotage. He therefore decided to sanction the bosses by decree, whereas in Guinea, it is the minister of communication who is mandated by law to do so.
“The decree is not fair. These media professionals are only scapegoats because it is the minister of telecommunication who is responsible for the broadcasting, not them,” explained a telecommunication engineer. A technician with the Radio and Television network of Guinea, speaking on condition of anonymity, also lamented that “this network is the worst in Africa; that is where the problem lies.”
The MFWA vehemently condemns the action of the Guinean president as arbitrary, because only a thorough and independent enquiry can establish a case of sabotage against the victims. This action has the potential to intimidate journalists working with the state media into imposing self-censorship.

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