Six Journalists arrested for `incitement to mutiny`- jailed and now released in Cote D `Ivoire
UNI Global affiliate SYNAPPCI in Cote D`Ivoire has successfully taken part in lobbying and protests to secure the release of six Journailists arrested by Police. They are facing charges of ìncitement to mutiny, riot and spreading `false information`regarding a protest over pay by members of the Armed Forces. Soldiers of the army staged protests in the streets of main cities, firing shots into the air and `kidnapping `the Minister of Defence from his home. The mutiny took place over a three day period and was widely reported around the world.
However journalists who reported the event in the country`s four main newspapers - L`Inter, SorInfo, Le Temps and Notre Voie - were arrested and interned in a Police Camp in Abidjan. The public prosecutor stated that they were determined to find out `where the blame lies` for the mutiny of the troops and it seems that journalists reporting events were to become scapegoats.
SYNAPPCI General Secretary Guillaume Gbato said:-
`SYNAPPCI welcomes the release of the six Journalists but demands that all charges against them should be dropped. This is an issue of the freedom of the press.`
`SYNAPPCI wishes to express its indignation and its deep disappointment at the persistance of attitudes and illegal practices aimed to humiliate Journalists in Cote D `Ivoire`.
Journalists in Cote D `Ivoire have previously had to work in extreme difficulties during Military Dictatorships, Civil War and Human Rights abuses. SYNAPPCI is a fast growing union for media workers, organising to represent all media workers over issues such as freedom of experession as well as many working practices.