Students protest heavy policing & government pressures paper to suspend journalist
In recent months the freedom of peaceful assembly was generally respected in Cote d’Ivoire as several protests took place. In Bouake, customers of the Ivorian Electricity Company (CIE) marched against a drastic increase in the cost of electricity. Elsewhere, students in Cocody University in Abidjan challenged the presence of a large police force and other security forces on campus by suspending their participation in courses. Their protest took place following a three-day period of mourning to mark the death of a student killed by a police vehicle.
Two journalists from the Koaci news website were arrested in late May following the publication of an article mentioning political prisoners in Ivorian prisons. One journalist was released the following day but the second, the director of media at Koaci, was charged with 'spreading false news' and sent to prison. In a separate incident, the government applied enormous pressure on the daily newspaper l’Expression to dismiss journalist Bernard Kra who authored a front page article titled 'Président, l'heure est grave!' (Mr. President, the situation is serious!). The article called attention to a 'ticking social time bomb' and sought to challenge the government on the rising cost of living in Cote d’Ivoire, following the drastic increase in electricity bills. The newspaper finally succumbed to pressure and suspended Mr. Kra.
Le journaliste Ivoirien Kra Bernard Sanctionné par sa relation pour ce titre pic.twitter.com/fG3Rxu3VIx— J I C (@jeunessvoirienn) April 25, 2016
Civic Space Developments