Ibrahima Sadio Bah and Amadou Diouldé Diallo, two senior sports journalists of the state-owned Radio Télévision Guinéenne (RTG) were on February 10, 2009 suspended indefinitely by the RTG’s management for allegedly violating the station’s editorial policy.
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the suspension followed a comment that Diallo made on air praising Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the military head of state for releasing Aboubacar Bruno Bangoura, president of Guinean Football Association from detention in the early days of the coup d’état in December 2008.
“For releasing Bruno from detention to attend the meeting in Abuja (capital of Nigeria), the head of state has shown his commitment to sports in our country”, Diallo said on air.
According to the correspondent, the Director General of RTG, Alpha Kabinet Doumbouya, said “it was not his (Diallo)’s duty to discuss political issues during a sports programme. It is a violation of laws governing this matter. That is why I suspended him”, Doumbouya stated.
Doumbouya said he suspended Bah, who is the host of the programme, because he invited Diallo to the station without the permission of management.
Meanwhile, Diallo has dismissed the claim by the management. In an interview, he said they have been victims of witch-hunt. “They have been against us for a long time because we have refused to be bootlickers and we are doing our professional job”, the journalist insisted.
MFWA is seriously dismayed at the decision by the Director General to suspend the two journalists.
We call on the management to immediately lift the suspension and allow journalists working in RTG to exercise their rights to free expression.