14 August 2014

Burkina Faso - Laptop Seized, Documents Searched As Offices of Investigative Publication Burgled

Media Foundation for West Africa

The offices of L'Evènement, a private bi-monthly investigative publication was burgled by unknown persons in the early hours of 31 July 2014.

The burglars reportedly made away with a laptop, flash drives, a note-pad, and the sum of two hundred and seventy thousand FCFA (equivalent to US $600) belonging to the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Newton Ahmed Barry. The burglars also made away with FCFA 4,500 from the secretariat of the newspaper.

According to MFWA's correspondent in the country, the reasons for the burglary remain unknown, but many suspect that it is because of the work the newspaper outlet.

Hamidou Traoré, the security man at the premises, told our correspondent that the burglars also searched through files and documents.

The MFWA is worried about recent attacks and acts of aggression targeted at the media and journalists to instill fear into them and force them into self-censorship. On February 10, 2014, unidentified individuals broke into the offices of privately-owned L'Opinion newspaper and made away with computers and iPads belonging to journalists and the newspaper. At least five journalists in the country have also reported their computer or equipment stolen in their homes and other places.

We call on the police to go beyond just routine reports on the incidents and conduct serious investigation into the cases and bring the perpetrators to book. We also call on the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of journalists.

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