The Media Foundation for West Africa welcomes the lifting of the one-month suspension imposed on online press, Guineematin, by the Haute Autorité de la Communication (HAC), Guinea’s media regulatory body.
the suspension of guineematin.com followed the refusal of the general administrator of the website to stop a live broadcast on the site’s Facebook page of official polling station results during the counting of controversial presidential election in Guinea, which gave President Alpha Conde victory for a third term.
“It is a liberticidal sanction. It is disappointing because no law prohibits the dissemination of official results announced and posted in polling stations,” said Nouhou Baldé, the founder of guineematin.com.
The MFWA had called on the HAC to lift the sanction as access to information is one of the indispensable conditions for transparent and credible elections.
In a statement made public by the HAC, on 2nd November, 2020, the online press was asked to resume operations.
“The High Authority of Communication (HAC) meeting in plenary session on Monday, October 26, 2020, after having deliberated per the law, decided to lift the suspension of the site www.guineematin.com; the authorization of the site to resume its activities from Monday, November 2, 2020,” a statement signed by Boubacar Yacine Diallo Yacine, president of the HAC read.
The lifting of the suspension was hailed by the President of the Guinean Association of Online Press (AGUIPEL).
“I am very happy that the steps we took to lift Guineematin’s suspension have been successful. It was a misunderstanding between the HAC and the Guineematin administration. It is settled and it is a triumphant step for freedom of expression in Guinea,” said Tama Camara, President of AGUIPEL at MFWA.