Alerts from the Continent

  • In Ivory Coast, Amadou Dagnogo, a journalist who disappeared from the rebel-held town of Bouake nearly two months ago, has escaped his captors and arrived in Abidjan on 14 October. Dagnogo, the Bouake correspondent for Abidjan-based independent daily L’Inter, said he had been detained by rebels for six days, but managed to escape and make his way out of the rebel-held zone. According to reports, the journalist was beaten and tortured during his detention.
  • In Malawi, Emmanuel Muwamba, photographer at the The Nation paper and his colleague Pilirani Semu-Banda, journalist at the same paper, were attacked by police on 7 October, as they covered a conflict between former employers and management at a tea plantation in in southern Malawi. Five policemen reportedly hit the photographer with batons, tore his clothes and insulted him. When Semu-Banda tried to help him, she was locked up in a police car and insulted. The protesting workers came to Muwamba’s and Semu-Banda’s aid and prevented police from seizing the journalists’ digital camera.
  • In Somalia, radio reporter Abdullahi Yassin Jama was reportedly attacked and shot at by militiamen working for self-proclaimed president Abdinur Ahmed Darman in Mogadishu on 16 October, after he and another journalist interviewed the inhabitants of a refugee camp. Jama, who works for Radio Banadir, had been interviewing refugees in Mogadishu’s “Camp Bosnia” whose homes had been devastated by heavy rain. When Jama was leaving the camp, he was stopped by armed men who initially slapped him and then started shooting at him with their Kalashnikovs when the journalist tried to flee. He was not hit.
  • In Zimbabwe, Richard Musazulwa, a correspondent for the independent The Standard, appeared in court on charges of publishing falsehoods under Section 80 (1) (b) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) on 13 October. He was granted ZWD$50,000 (approx. US$9.00) bail and remanded in custody until 26 October. In January The Standard carried a story by Musazulwa, claiming that half of the 39 recruits at the Zimbabwe Military Academy in the city of Gweru had deserted camp due to hunger and rigorous training in 2003.

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