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Côte d’Ivoire18 October 2002

Offices of Radio Nostalgie ransacked

About 20 armed men in combat uniforms ransacked the offices of the private station Radio Nostalgie in Abidjan on the evening of 17 October 2002.

"Further to the ransacking of the offices of the newspapers ’Le Patriote’, ’Tassouman’ and ’Abidjan Magazine’, this latest attack highlights the violence faced by the independent media in Côte d’Ivoire, particularly the opposition media", stated Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Robert Ménard in a letter to Communications Minister Séry Bailly. Reporters Without Borders urged the minister to urgently take action to stop such attacks, which threaten the lives of journalists and the future of pluralism in Côte d’Ivoire.

On 17 October, at around 8:00 p.m. (local time), about 20 men in combat uniforms, armed with machine guns, arrived in all-terrain vehicles at the offices of Radio Nostalgie, located in the Plateau neighbourhood of Abidjan. They assaulted the guard at the entrance and fired gunshots at the surveillance cameras. Once inside the station’s offices, they ransacked all of the equipment, ensuring that everything was destroyed, and fired at least one gunshot. The damages are estimated at 200 million CFA francs (approx. US$296,150), according to a station manager. "Today they are attacking equipment. Tomorrow, will they turn to people?" he asked. The station had not been broadcasting news programmes since the start of the unrest in the country. It was only broadcasting music programmes at the time of the attack. Radio Nostalgie director Hamed Bakayoko is also one of the principal shareholders of the Mayama Press Group. The offices of three of the group’s newspapers - "Le Patriote", "Tassouman" and "Abidjan Magazine" - were ransacked on 16 October.

On 16 October, Reporters Without Borders condemned the ransacking of the three Mayama Press Group newspapers. The organisation also urged Minister Bailly to do everything possible to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur and that all of the country’s journalists can exercise their profession in a safe environment.

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