BREAKING: Burkina Faso: Three Journalists Disappeared in Separate Incidents in June - Reportgist

BREAKING: Burkina Faso: Three Journalists Disappeared in Separate Incidents in June

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Adama Bayala, a regular commentator on the private television station BF1 talkshow, ‘ Presse Echos’, has been missing since he left his office on 28 June, reported informed news outlet Libre Info. Before Bayala was reported missing, a message on a pro-junta Facebook page threatened him, according to a Human Rights Watch report.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

In a separate incident, the Director of the investigative newspaper L’Evenement, Serge Oulon, was abducted from his home in Ouagadougou by armed individuals and was taken to an unknown location on 24 June. The individuals, who claimed to be working for the intelligence services, later returned and pressured his wife to surrender the journalist’s phones and laptop to them, HRW reported. In December 2022, Oulon exposed an alleged corruption case by an army captain, and on 20 June, 2024, the High Council for Communication suspendedL’Évènement for one month after it published another article on the scandal.

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Kalifara Sere, another commentator on BF1 television show, ‘7 Infors’, was reported missing on 20 June, after leaving a meeting with the High Council for Communication when returning to his office in the capital Ouagadougou.

“The kidnapping of Oulon took place four days after the suspension of L’Evenement […] It comes against a backdrop marked by a succession of anti press freedom acts,” reads the statement issued by the Professional Media Organisation (OPM).

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In addition, the OPM statement revealed that the High Council for Communication also suspended the BF1 television show, ‘7 Infors’, for two weeks on the basis of information deemed false by regular columnist, Sere. The columnist, who was questioned by the High Council for Communication at the Wemtenga-based regional judicial police, has been missing since 20 June.

The OPM called on the authorities in Burkina Faso to respect legal procedures and guarantee the safety and integrity of journalists. They also demanded the political, judicial and security authorities to recognise the danger of such practices, which are unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law.

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IFJ Deputy General Secretary Tim Dawson said that the kidnapping of journalists is a deliberate attempt by the authorities to silence the media and stop them from reporting the truth. ‘These acts of harassment and intimidation are a flagrant violation of the law and constitute criminal offences. We call on the authorities to respect freedom of expression and media freedom and uphold them”.

The IFJ calls for the immediate and unconditional release of journalists Atiana Serge Oulon, Adama Bayala and Kalifara and urges the authorities to guarantee the safety and security of journalists and all media workers, as well as the citizens’ fundamental rights to receive and seek information.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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