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No newspapers on sale in Côte d’Ivoir as a result of political crisis

No newspapers were distributed Friday in Côte d’Ivoire, where the protracted political impasse is creating an extremely grave if not impossible situation for journalists and news media.

No newspapers were distributed Friday in Côte d’Ivoire, where the protracted political impasse is creating an extremely grave if not impossible situation for journalists and news media. As the country seems to head steadily towards civil war, with casualties every day, journalists are being exposed to threats, arrests and reprisals, and often have to risk lives to report in some neighbourhoods, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF).

Members of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) loyal to Laurent Gbagbo raided the offices of country’s sole newspaper distributor, Edipresse, at around 5 a.m. Friday and prevented employees from distributing newspapers that support Gbagbo’s rival, Alassane Ouattara, regardless of the lack of any order from the National Press Council, which regulates the print media. A subsidiary of the French company Presstalis, Edipresse decided jointly with its retailers not to sell any newspapers at all today in protest against the raid and as a safety measure.

RSF has also learnt that the Abidjan headquarters of the Abidjan.net website decided to suspend operations after receiving threats. Two journalists are currently detained in Côte d’Ivoire, while one media worker has been killed in the past two weeks. The detainees are Abou Sanogo and Gnahoré Charly of Télé Notre Patrie (TVNP), who were arrested on January 28 and are being held in the main Abidjan prison.

Marcel Legré, a printing press worker at La Refondation, the company that publishes the pro-Gbagbo daily Notre Voie, was hacked and clubbed to death on February 28 in the south Abidjan district of Koumassi.

Date posted: March 13, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 85