Protesters demonstrate against a proposed amendment to Burkina Faso's constitution that would allow President Blaise Compaore to extend his term. (AFP/Issouf Sanogo)

Press in Burkina Faso must be protected amid anti-government protests

October 30, 2014 1:46 PM ET

Lagos, Nigeria, October 30, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that protesters stormed and looted the offices of Burkina Faso's national broadcaster Radiodiffusion Television du Burkina in the capital, Ouagadougou, today. Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest a constitutional amendment that would allow President Blaise Compaore to seek re-election next year, according to reports.

"It is clear that the Burkina Faso public is out for change. But in critical times like these, media institutions must be protected," said Peter Nkanga, CPJ's West Africa representative. "We call on all parties to allow journalists to carry out their responsibilities to gather and report the news, which is essential for the country to experience a peaceful transition."

Compaore has ruled the country for 27 years since taking power in a coup in 1987. Burkina Faso Communications Minister Alain Edouard Traore announced the constitutional vote had been reversed following the protests, news reports said.

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