Guinean police beat journalist covering protest

Police officers assaulted Alpha Oumar Diallo, a journalist for online newspaper Aminata, as he covered anti-government protests on May 10, 2012, in Conakry, the capital, according to news reports and local journalists.

Diallo said he was accosted by six police officers as he covered the violent dispersal by security forces of demonstrators protesting the government’s preparations for upcoming parliamentary elections. The officers accused him of being a protester and began beating him with police batons even though he showed them his press identity card, Diallo said.

The officers only stopped beating Diallo when Aboubakar Gassama Camara, a director in the media relations office in the Guinean police, identified him as a journalist. Camara also helped the journalist to retrieve his belongings, which the police had confiscated, Diallo told CPJ.

Camara confirmed Diallo’s story, but told CPJ that journalists who were assaulted by security forces must have been mistaken as protesters because they did not adequately identify themselves. Several other journalists were assaulted that same day, CPJ learned.