Hamed Bakayoko

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Bakayoko, publisher of Le Patriote and Le Patriote-Express was arrested on February 16, 1994, and charged with insulting the dignity of the head of state in an unsigned article, which appeared on January 25. The article did not mention the new president by name, but asked how Ivorians could fear “a dwarf” when compared to the “giant Felix Houphouet-Boigny,” the Ivory Coast’s late veteran leader. Bakayoko was convicted of violating a 1991 press law which criminalizes statements deemed offensive to the dignity of any head of state, domestic or foreign. Le Patriote and Le Patriote-Express were suspended for three months. Bakayoko was fined 200,000 CFA francs, and sentenced to one year in prison. It is not clear if his sentence will be appealed. He remains in custody.