UN slams media ‘repression’ in Guinea – Times of India

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GENEVA: The United Nations voiced concern Friday about “increased repression of media freedom” in Guinea and urged the military-led authorities to change course immediately.
Since May, restrictions on non-official media have multiplied with social networks and private radio stations cut off, news websites interrupted or suspended and journalists detained.
“Journalists have been harassed and intimidated, assaulted and arrested, equipment seized and dismantled, broadcast transmissions blocked, and media channels jammed, suspended or shut down,” UN human rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.
“Access to several social media sites has been blocked and access to the internet restricted,” he said. “They must be promptly halted and the right to freedom of expression and opinion fully upheld.”
The west African nation remains one of the least developed countries in the world despite being rich in minerals, including gold and bauxite.
Since September 2021, the government has been led by a military junta that deposed the country’s first democratically-elected president.
The transitional authorities have cited national security to justify curbs on the media and online communication platforms, the UN Human Rights Office said.
“These largely excessive restrictions on fundamental freedoms are only serving to shrink civic space and roll back respect for human rights,” said Turk.
“I strongly urge the transitional authorities in Guinea to take all necessary steps to immediately correct this worrying situation.”
The UN Human Rights Office said the affected media included the Guinee Matin and Africa Guinee websites, French pay-TV provider Canal Plus and private radio stations Fim FM and Djoma FM.
It said social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and TikTok have been blocked since at least November 24, while internet access has been restricted for several months.
Guinea ranks 85th out of 180 countries in the world press freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders in 2023.


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