Police in Burkina Faso seize journalist’s camera, deletes images

A police officer on July 24, 2014, seized the camera of Hippolyte Sama, a photojournalist with the independent newsmagazine Fasozine, while he was photographing relatives of victims of an Air Algeria plane that crashed in northern Mali, according to news reports.

Sama told CPJ that he was at the airline’s offices in Burkina Faso and had identified himself to the police officer before taking photos. He said the officer seized his camera for about a half-hour and deleted all the pictures of the event. Sama said the officer returned the camera after Fasozine contacted the authorities.

Fasozine published Sama’s account of the day’s event on its website, but later removed the story, citing an internal decision made by the publication, Fasozine’s editor-in-chief, Désiré Sawadogo, told CPJ.