Media professionals faced obstacles in staging a planned protest on Thursday, January 18th, against the censorship of several media outlets in the country. The media union, SPPG, had called for the demonstration to denounce censorship issues. By midday, the streets and roundabouts in Conakry were heavily patrolled by law enforcement. Nine journalists were initially apprehended but later released in the evening.
The gathering took place at the Maison de la Presse in Conakry, whose premises were surrounded by security forces. The intervention of law enforcement, notably the gendarmerie, led to about ten arrests. Throughout the day, around thirty journalists, including union leaders, were confined within the Maison de la Presse.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Mory Condé, had issued a stern warning, pledging to “neutralize the authors of violence that may occur after this call to protest.”
This assembly, initiated by the Syndicate of Press Professionals (SPPG), garnered support from the officially dissolved Front for the Defense of the Constitution, which remains an active political player on the ground, and the Forum of Civil Society Organizations in Guinea, a coalition of Guinean unions and political parties.
The organizers of the protest also raised concerns about internet access restrictions. However, the authorities had taken a firm stance. It is worth noting that since October of the previous year, radio and television stations such as Espace, Évasion, Djoma, and FIM (fime) have experienced limited or complete suspension of their broadcasts.