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Journalist Suspended for Mentioning Libya

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (AFP).
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (AFP).

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the government of Equatorial Guinea has suspended a state radio presenter in response to his mere mention of Libya during a live radio program on Friday. The government is one of a few in sub-Saharan Africa to impose a total news blackout on events in North Africa and the Middle East:

On Friday, Equatorial Guinean Secretary of State for Information and Press Federico Abaga Ondo stormed into the studios of government-controlled national broadcaster RTVGE and ordered producers to kill the microphone of presenter Juan Pedro Mendene, according to local journalists. Ondo then ordered Mendene, who was presenting his weekly hour-long, French-language call-in educational program "Détente Intégrale" (Total Relaxation) out of the studio, forbidding him to return to the studio, according to the same sources.


Speaking to CPJ today, Mendene — who has been nicknamed by listeners "The Guide" because of the educational nature of his show — mentioned the Libyan revolution in the introduction to his program. According to local journalists, the official took exception to the reference on the grounds that it breached the government-controlled station policy of not discussing on events in Libya, Tunisa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen and Ivory Coast.

Read more at CPJ.

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