21 August 2013

Burkina Faso: Police Storm Radio Station to Arrest University Students

press release

In the afternoon of August 13, 2013, police officers from the Burkinabe Central Police Station, stormed the studios of privately-owned radio station, Pulsar radio, located in Ouagadougou, the capital.

According to reports from the MFWA's monitor in the country, the police officers entered the studio during a broadcast of a political programme (Faut qu'on en parle - We must talk about it), to arrest a group of university students who were panelists on the programme.

The police accused the students of making inciteful statements while discussing a recent violent-ridden eviction of university students from the various campuses.

However, after listening to a recorded copy of the broadcast, the police realised that no such statements were made by the students, the monitor reported.

"The Superintendent of Police has apologized to the management of the station after listening to the programme," Richard Tiene, a reporter at the radio station told the MFWA Monitor.

In spite of the apology rendered by the police, there is cause for concern following recent spate of attacks and intolerance by the police on freedom of expression and peaceful demonstrations.

Within the month of July, the MFWA reported on two separate tear gas-attacks on opposition demonstrations <http://www.mediafound.org/?p=4379> by the police causing injuries to several protesters and journalists who were covering the event.

The opposition are against the government's decision to create a second chamber within the country's national assembly.

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