Côte d'Ivoire

Ivorian journalists tortured, says lawyer

France 24

Two Ivorian journalists have been tortured and are now being illegally held in custody in Abidjan, according to their lawyer. Aboubakar Sanogo and Charles Kangbé were arrested last Friday by men in military uniform.


The journalists, who work for a TV channel in Bouaké, had come to interview Alassane Ouattara, one of the country's presidential claimants.

"One of them had a black eye after being hit in the face with the butt of a pistol and they had been burnt with cigarettes,"  lawyer Brahima Coulibaly told the Reuters wire service after visiting them.

He said the injuries had been inflicted during a police interrogation. The journalists were then taken to a military prison, even though the Ivorian constitution decrees that suspects must be charged or freed within 48 hours.

Ivorian state media has described the journalists as Forces Nouvelles rebels, who support Ouattara.

The Forces Nouvelles have demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

Several journalists have been attacked or harassed by forces loyal to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo since Côte d'Ivoire's disputed 28 November election, according to the Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning