The websites of privately owned news outlets Guinée Matin and Inquisiteur have been inaccessible within the country for over a month. (CPJ)

Private news websites restricted in Guinea for over a month

Dakar, Senegal, October 11, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Guinean authorities to investigate why the websites of privately owned news outlets Guinée Matin and Inquisiteur continue to be restricted in the country and ensure they are freely accessible without delay. 

“Guinean authorities must ensure a free flow of information in the country and immediately restore access to the Guinée Matin and Inquisiteur news websites, which have been inaccessible in the country for more than a month,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator in New York. “Restricting these news websites is a flagrant violation of the right to media freedom and every Guinean citizen’s right to access information from a diversity of independent news sources. The Guinean authorities must not allow this apparent censorship to continue.”

The website of Guinée Matin has been inaccessible in Guinea since August 15, and Inquisiteur has been inaccessible since September 1, according to Guinée Matin’s director, Nouhou Baldé, and Inquisiteur’s website administrator, Mamadou Babila Keita. Both websites are accessible outside of Guinea. 

Azoka Bah, a spokesperson for the Guinean Ministry of Communication, told CPJ that the government was not responsible for the blockages and referred the matter to the country’s media regulator, the High Authority for Communication.

The president of the regulator declined to respond to CPJ’s questions, stating he was on leave.

In May 2023, several news websites, including Guinée Matin and Inquisiteur, were inaccessible for a period of days before a demonstration by the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution, a coalition of opposition political parties and civil society groups, according to news reports and Keita.