El-Hadj Mohamed Diallo

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Diallo, a reporter for the news websites Guinée7 and Afrik, was shot in the chest during clashes outside a meeting of Guinea’s main opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, in the capital, Conakry, according to reports. He died on the way to the hospital.

The reporter was shot during clashes at a political meeting he was covering. When the politician Oury Bah, who had recently been removed from his post as party vice-president, was denied entry to the party’s headquarters, clashes erupted between his supporters and those of the current leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, according to reports.

Ibrahima Sory Traoré, publication manager of the privately owned Guinée7, told reporters on February 5 that he had viewed the reporter’s body. Traoré said, “He was shot at point-blank range.”

It was not immediately clear who shot Diallo, Reuters said. Government spokesperson Damantang Albert Camara said the killing is being investigated as a “voluntary homicide,” according to reports. Guinea’s Justice Minister Cheick Sako told reporters, “This crime will not go unpunished.”

Attempts by CPJ to call police in Conakry for comment in early February went unanswered.

Diallo, who was married and had a young daughter, also contributed to the weekly L’Indépendant, according to reports. On February 8, 2016, hundreds of people marched in the capital, and nationwide the media held a “press-free” day to demand justice for Diallo, according to reports. A tribute to Diallo, published by his outlet Guinée7 on February 10, described the reporter’s death a “huge loss for the Guinean press.”

According to media reports, 17 of the 20 people arrested in connection with the crime were freed by August 2016. Two were still detained, while a third died in state custody, the U.S.-government-funded Voice of America reported.

Ibrahima Sory Traoré, publication manager of the privately owned Guinée7, told CPJ on December 5, 2016, that five people were charged in connection with Diallo’s murder. He said two of suspects were in custody, and that police had warrants for the arrest of three other suspects still at large.