Journalists Arrested and Tear Gas Used as Protests Against Censorship Erupt in Guinea

Journalists Arrested And Tear Gas Used As Protests Against Censorship Erupt In Guinea

In a disturbing turn of events, Guinean security forces apprehended a minimum of 12 journalists on Monday during a demonstration against censorship. Tear gas was deployed to disperse the protest, as confirmed by organisers and local media sources.

The Private Press Union of Guinea (SPPG) had organised a march in the capital city of Conakry, demanding that authorities lift the restrictions imposed on the popular news site Guinee Matin. Since August, the news site has only been accessible within Guinea using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In response, Reporters Without Borders has created a mirror site to enable Guineans to access the news content from within the country.

The ruling junta, which seized power in September 2021, has not provided any explanation for the blockage of Guinee Matin. Despite the lack of transparency, the SPPG had planned to assemble at the port’s roundabout to voice their concerns. However, Abdouramane Diallo, an SPPG official, reported that mixed police and gendarmerie forces deployed tear gas against the demonstrators, resulting in minor injuries to one journalist.

Among the dozen journalists arrested was the secretary-general of the SPPG. Although they were released in the evening, they are expected to appear in court next week, according to their lawyer, Salifou Beavogui. The ruling junta has prohibited protests since 2022, further exacerbating the deteriorating situation for press freedom in Guinea.

Four press associations issued a joint statement condemning the unwarranted violence against the journalists and demanding their immediate and unconditional release. The statement also called upon the national and international community to take notice of the alarming decline in freedom of expression and democracy within Guinea.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from human rights organisations and media advocates, who are deeply concerned about the escalating suppression of journalists and the erosion of fundamental rights in Guinea. As calls for justice and the restoration of press freedom grow louder, the international community is urged to closely monitor the situation and exert pressure on the Guinean authorities to uphold democratic principles and protect the rights of journalists to report without fear of reprisal.

The clash between journalists and security forces highlights the urgent need for a robust and independent press that can hold those in power accountable, fostering a society built on transparency and freedom of expression. The fate of press freedom in Guinea now hangs in the balance as the world waits to see how this crackdown on journalists will unfold and what it signifies for the nation’s democratic future.

Jamaica Considers Tough Sanctions for Death Threats as Domestic Disputes Turn Deadly

Jamaica Considers Tough Sanctions For Death Threats As Domestic Disputes Turn Deadly

In a bid to combat the rising number of deadly incidents resulting from domestic disputes, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that his administration is contemplating the introduction of legislation to impose severe sanctions on individuals who threaten others with death. Speaking at a meeting with Jamaica Labour Party supporters in Clarendon, Mr. Holness expressed concern over the deteriorating morality of society, emphasising the need for action to address the alarming trend.

The Prime Minister highlighted the troubling nature of recent murders and questioned the ethical compass of the nation. He noted that the police cannot be omnipresent and that it is nearly impossible for them to preemptively intervene in cases where individuals are plotting heinous crimes related to private domestic issues. Mr. Holness stressed that family disputes over land and disagreements between intimate partners have taken a sinister turn, leading to conspiracies and the hiring of assailants to carry out acts of violence.

Statistics indicate a shift in the profile of murders, with gang-related incidents decreasing while domestic and intimate partner-related homicides are on the rise. Expressing his concern, Mr. Holness informed the Police Commissioner and the National Security Minister of the government’s intent to introduce punitive measures against those suspected of engaging in violent behaviour.

To combat this disturbing trend, the Prime Minister proposed increasing reporting obligations for individuals who have been previously cautioned or detained for violent behaviour or threats. He argued that by allowing threats of violence to go unanswered, the likelihood of actual violence occurring escalates. As part of the government’s strategy, the existing laws concerning threats and the obligation to report any instance of violence or threats will be thoroughly reviewed.

The proposed legislation aims to send a clear message that Jamaica will not tolerate threats or acts of violence, especially within the context of domestic disputes. The government’s commitment to protecting its citizens and upholding the rule of law underscores the urgency of addressing this pressing issue. By imposing tough sanctions on offenders, the administration hopes to deter potential perpetrators and create a safer environment for all Jamaicans.

Prime Minister Holness’s announcement has been met with support from various sectors of society, with citizens and advocacy groups recognising the importance of addressing the root causes of domestic violence and implementing effective measures to prevent tragic outcomes. As the proposal moves forward, it is expected that consultations will be held with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the legislation strikes an appropriate balance between safeguarding individuals and respecting civil liberties.

The government’s proactive approach in tackling the rise of violence within domestic disputes showcases its commitment to fostering a secure and harmonious society. With the potential legislative changes on the horizon, Jamaica aims to send a resolute message that threats and violence will not be tolerated, ultimately working towards a safer future for all its citizens.


Source: Radio Jamaica News