Senegalese journalists to impose news blackout day
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Reports monitored by the Daily Observer indicated that Senegalese journalists and unions called on Tuesday for a "News Blackout" day to publicise a call for action against police officers who allegedly beat up two reporters at the Senegal-Liberia football match on June 21.
Scheduled for Monday July 21, the protest would stop all transmission of TV and radio broadcasts,and halt publication of daily newspapers. This move taken by the media fraternity is prompted by the worsening climate prevailing between journalists and the authorities.
It could be recalled that Boubacar Kambel Dieng, head of sport at Radio Futurs Media (RFM), a private FM station owned by music tycoon Youssou Ndour, and Karamoko Thioune, of West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR), accuse the police of violently beating them at the match. Boubabar Kambel Dieng subsequently spent 20 days in a private hospital in Dakar.
Following a complaint from Dieng's lawyers, the prosecutor of the regional court in Dakar opened a judicial inquiry into "assault, acts of torture and obstructing the right to work," on July 8.
Senegal's Interior Ministry absolved the police of blame in a statement on July 10, accusing Dieng of having "provoked the confrontation by punching a ranking police officer" and shouting abuse at the police.
The statement from the Committee for the Protection and Defence of Journalists "calls on all information and communication professionals to respect this command: stop broadcast of TV and radio and publication of newspapers."
Author: by Abdoulie John