Dakar, September 12, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Guinea’s media regulator to reverse its Monday suspension order banning the privately owned news website Dépêche Guinée and its publishing director, Abdoul Latif Diallo, from printing reports for one month.
“Guinea’s High Authority for Communication should immediately lift its suspension of the entire Dépêche Guinée website and publishing director Abdoul Latif Diallo and ensure journalists can freely cover issues of public interest without fear of sanction,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator in Durban, South Africa. “The suspension is a blunt censorship tool that denies the Guinean public an important information source.”
The September 11 suspension order sent by the High Authority for Communication cited an August 20 report about alleged corruption and mismanagement of the country’s legal bar. It accused the outlet of failing to adequately “verify” and “cross-check information” for that report, according to Latif Diallo, who spoke to CPJ by phone, and CPJ’s review of the order.
In the order, the regulator also cited an August 21 complaint it received from the Guinea Bar Association against Latif Diallo and Dépêche Guinée for defamation and “violating ethical and deontological principles of the journalistic profession.”
Latif Diallo told CPJ he complied with the regulator’s order and halted publication on Monday.
Reached via messaging app, Boubacar Yacine Diallo, the regulator’s president, referred CPJ to the suspension order.