Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Côte d’Ivoire13 February 2003

Journalist reported missing for the past month, feared dead

Kloueu Gonzreu, a local correspondent with the Ivorian News Agency (Agence ivoirienne de presse, AIP, a state agency), has been reported missing from the Toulépleu region (in western Côte d’Ivoire) since 11 January 2003. According to several sources, he was reportedly arrested by Liberian militiamen fighting with loyalist forces and may have been executed.

Reporters without Borders is very concerned and urges the authorities to launch a serious and impartial investigation to find the missing journalist. The organisation particularly urges President Laurent Gbagbo to personally intervene in the case and see to it that all the facts surrounding the journalist’s disappearance are fully disclosed. "Violence against journalists has been steadily increasing in recent months. Despite repeated appeals by Reporters without Borders and other international organisations, the Abidjan authorities have not taken any measures to guarantee the safety of media professionals," deplored Robert Ménard, the organisation’s secretary-general.

Reporters without Borders also reiterated its condemnation of certain Ivorian media outlets for their role in some of the recent violence. "Certain publications, such as Le National, Notre Voie and Notre Pays, are constantly pouring oil on the fire and seriously endangering the safety of certain persons," noted Ménard. In its 30 January issue, the pro-government newspaper "Notre Pays" published a list of presumed rebels. Gonzreu’s name was included on the list. The paper accused theAIP correspondent of making "remarks in support of the attackers." Notre Pays added that "the people of Toulépleu continue to have their doubts about this person."

According to information collected by Reporters without Borders, Gonzreu, the AIP’s Toulépleu correspondent, has been reported missing since 11 January. The journalist’s family says he was arrested that same day by Liberian militiamen. Several people who were arrested at the same time as the journalist were later found dead, including his 19-year-old son, Thierry Gonzreu.

The journalist, aged 51, has been a correspondent for the official news agency since July 2000. He has also taught history and geography and worked for the local chapter of the Red Cross.

In addition, René Dessonh, a journalist from the daily "Soir Info", was released on 9 February. According to his newsroom, the journalist was arrested three days earlier by Movement for Justice and Peace (Mouvement pour la justice et la paix, MJP) rebels in the Man region (in western Côte d’Ivoire). The rebels did not give the reporter any explanation for his release.

In this country
6 May - Côte d’Ivoire / France
French photographer freed after being held for 16 months in Abidjan
16 April - Côte d’Ivoire / France
Five years of unanswered questions since journalist’s abduction in Abidjan
8 April - Côte d’Ivoire / France
Open letter to President Sarkozy about French journalist who disappeared five years ago
1 April - Côte d’Ivoire
Judge frees Le Repère journalist but imposes heavy fine on him and his editor
24 March - Côte d’Ivoire
Examining judge orders release of French journalist but prosecutor appeals

in the annual report
Côte d’Ivoire - Annual Report 2007
Cote d’Ivoire - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives

18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election

Sign the petitions
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists