According to the information gathered by RSF, Souleymane Seidy, a reporter for privately-owned Bombolom FM, was interviewing participants in a peaceful march by several hundred students in the capital, Bissau, when the police officer intervened.
Although Seidy had his press card with him, the police officer ordered him to stay away from the protesters. The policeman then began hitting Seidy and finally arrested him. Seidy spent several hours in police custody before being released.
The previous day, Seidy had participated in a Bombolom FM programme about President Umaro Embalo Cissoko’s decision to close both state and private schools for a month.
“We firmly condemn this unacceptable arrest and attack on a journalist who was just doing his job,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “The need to combat this pandemic does not constitute grounds for persecuting reporters, whose role is more important than ever. We urge the Guinea-Bissau authorities to investigate this attack and to punish the officer responsible.”