IVORY COAST: Five journalists questioned, one threatened by official

SEPTEMBER 11, 2007Posted October 5, 2007  


Laure Gozo, Le RebondAssouan N’Gueeta, Le RebondCoulibaly Seydou, Le Jour PlusAlexis Noumé, Le Jour PlusHARASSED

Separate stories about the government led police in the capital, Abidjan, to question five journalists of the pro-opposition dailies Le Jour Plus and Le Rebond, pressing them to reveal their sources for more than 10 hours at a time over three days. One of the journalists was threatened with death by a ruling party MP, according to local media reports.
According to the same sources, ruling party MP William Attedi barged into the police station and threatened to “gun down” editor Nando Dapa of the daily Le Rebond in the presence of the journalists and the police commissioner. The threats were linked to a September 3 story listing 38 officials of the ruling FPI party, including Attedi and President Laurent Gbagbo, as alleged billionaires, Dapa told CPJ. Attedi subsequently sued Le Rebond for defamation.
Editor Seydou and reporter Noumé of Le Jour Plus were also questioned about a September 8 story alleging corruption by Gbagbo, according to the state-run daily Fraternité-Matin. The journalists were charged with defaming the head of state, Le Jour Plus editor Frederick Koffi told CPJ.