Six journalists have been detained in Ivory Coast for encouraging revolt and disseminating false stories, local media reported Monday. Six editors and three media publishers were brought in for questioning over their coverage of recent mutinies by security forces.
"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, according to French news agency AFP.
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 (FPI), which was founded by former President Gbabgo, currently on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
The National Union of Media Professionals in Cote d’Ivoire (Syndicat National des Professionnels de la Presse de Côte d’Ivoire) (SYNAPPCI) demanded the journalists’ immediate release.