On 15 octobre 2001, members of Reporters sans frontières (Reporters without Borders; RSF) demonstrated in front of the French Socialist Party headquarters in Paris while the president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré was arriving to meet François Hollande, leader of this party. RSF wanted to attract the attention of François Hollande and other French officials who were to receive Blaise Compaoré about his responsibility in the murder of journalist Norbert Zongo. RSF calls on François Hollande to denounce the violence that RSF members suffered in front of his party’s headquarters.
As Blaise Compaoré was getting out of his car, members of Reporters threw leaflets, which said, "Norbert Zongo, murdered journalist. No to Burkina Faso’s impunity." as the president of Burkina Faso walked by. Two RSF members were brutally restrained by plainclothes policemen. Thrown to the ground, they were beaten and the policemen sprayed tear-gas in their faces. The other RSF members present were also arrested.
RSF has decided to file a civil suit against president Blaise Compaoré, This suit was filed on 12 October 2001 with the senior magistrate. RSF asks that, given the urgency of this situation, the prosecutor’s office immediately begin an investigation into this matter so a decision can be made by a magistrate before the departure of president Blaise Compaoré.
On 13 December 1998, Norbert Zongo, publisher of L’Indépendant, and three companions were murdered in Sapouy (100 km south of Ouagadougou). Zongo had long been investigating the death of David Ouédraogo, chauffeur for François Compaoré, presidential advisor and brother of the head of state. Suspected of theft, David Ouédraogo and three other employees of François Compaoré were arrested in December 1997 by members of Blaise Compaoré’s personal guard and held for several weeks in buildings used to house the presidential guards. David Ouédraogo died from the torture he suffered there.