Incidences of physical violence and death threats by officials against journalists on the rise in Burkina Faso.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest cases of threatening and aggressive behaviour towards journalists in Burkina Faso – death threats by a sports official and use of physical violence by a member of the prime minister’s security. The authorities must carry out an investigation and ensure that these press freedom violations stop, RSF says.
The threats that Besséri Ouattara, a sports reporter for the L’Express du Faso newspaper in the southwestern city of Banfora, received on 24 May must be taken seriously by the authorities. They were made by Brahima Traoré, a local sports official also known as AECO, who gave Ouattara three days to leave the city for reporting that the regional football team’s players were refusing to play in the national football cup semi-final in a protest over unpaid salaries and bonuses.
Five days before that, on 19 May, BF1 TV cameraman Luc Pagbelguem was filming Prime Minister Albert Ouédraogo at a public event in the capital, Ouagadougou, when a member of the prime minister’s security suddenly grabbed him and forced him to descend from a platform with such violence that he nearly dropped his camera and other equipment. The security official did not explain this use of force against Pagbelguem, who was one of several journalists on the platform filming the event.