6 Ivorian Journalists Detained

Mutineer soldiers stand at the entrance to deputy prefect’s residence in Bouake, Ivory Coast.Mutineer soldiers stand at the entrance to deputy prefect’s residence in Bouake, Ivory Coast.

Six journalists have been detained in Ivory Coast for “encouraging revolt and disseminating false stories”, local media reported on Monday.

Six editors and three media publishers were brought in for questioning over their coverage of recent mutinies by security forces, Deutsche Welle reported.

“Regarding recent action taken by the military ... we have come to believe that certain media organizations are spreading false information in a bid to encourage soldiers to revolt,” public prosecutor, Christophe Richard Adou, said in a statement on Sunday.

Adou added that the journalists would be questioned to “find out where responsibility lies” for the alleged fake reporting. He did not elaborate on the content of the articles.

Those arrested included Yacouba Gbane of Cyclone Group, which publishes the opposition newspaper “Le Temps”-a daily that has regularly called into question the legitimacy of President Alassane Ouattara’s administration and accused him of human rights abuses.

Another target was the newspaper “Notre Voie”, which has often gotten into legal trouble for its inflammatory rhetoric against Ivorian politicians. It is associated with the center-left Ivorian Popular Front, which was founded by former president Laurent Gbagbo, currently on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

The move against the journalists comes after weeks of troop insurrections across the country, as soldiers demanded promised back-pay and bonuses. At first, the protests included mostly former rebels who were made significant promises of compensation during a period of amnesty following the 2010-11 Ivorian crises.

Each uprising has been followed by a flurry of talks between security forces and government officials, as President Ouattara sought to end the unrest as swiftly as possible.

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