Guinean journalists report being attacked in Conakry

At least four journalists were attacked in separate episodes on June 19, 2013, amid clashes in the Guinean capital, Conakry, between opposition militants and supporters of President Alpha Condé, according to CPJ interviews and news reports. The clashes erupted between opposition groups, mostly of Peul ethnicity, and the Guinean ruling party, mostly of Malinke ethnicity, following the much-delayed elections originally scheduled for July 8, 2012, and now set for June 30, 2013.

Daouda Taban Sylla, reporter for the online news website Conakry Express, told CPJ he was attacked by supporters of the opposition political party who spoke to him in the Peul language and insulted him for being Malinke. He said his assailants armed with knives, sticks, and stones beat him and seized his equipment and money, but stopped when he told them he was of Susu ethnicity. Sylla told CPJ he was on his way home from a journalism seminar and was passing through an area considered to be a stronghold of the opposition party. He said he did not file an official complaint.

Unidentified men threw stones at Mamadou Aliou Diallo and Aissatou Bah, journalists for the news website Africa Guinee, while they were in a taxi after reporting on the clashes. Diallo told CPJ that the assailants had laid road blocks in the area. He said he sought treatment for a minor injury on his neck. No official complaint was filed.

It is unclear if the assailants were affiliated with a political party.

Mamadou Sire Diallo, reporter for the private Le Lynx, told CPJ he was attacked by police after photographing a group of officers watching supporters of opposing parties fighting and not taking action. He said he had also taken a picture of two officers beating a partially clothed man.

Diallo said the police accused him of being a spy even though he identified himself as a journalist. He said the officers attacked him with batons, kicked and slapped him, and seized his equipment. He said his equipment was later returned, but that he would be contacting a lawyer to file a complaint.

Diallo told CPJ that police had not officially commented on the allegations. CPJ was unable to get contact information for the Conakry police.