webGuinea
Camp Boiro Memorial
Special report
January 29,1994


Following widespread vote-counting irregularities, Lansana Conte was inaugurated as the first elected president of Guinea's Third Repubilc. He immediately told government newspaper Horoya that the Guinean press was henceforth free. Yet he did not do anything to change Guinea's highly restrictive press laws, which make libel a criminal offense and define sedition so broadly to include chants. Under the 1aws, criticism of tho president is prohibited, as are any statements that disturb the public peace. There was also little change in terms of radio, Guinea's most important news medium, which remained firmly under government control throughout the year. Legislative elections, though primised for 1994, had not been scheduled by year's end. March.

Radio Fréquence Gandal, censored.

In early March, Guinean police shut down Radio Fréquence Gandal, Guinea's first and only independent radio station. For a few days prior to its closure, the radio had been broadcasting music and test patterns. Shortly after the shutdown an official from the ministry of communication arrived at the station and demanded, but did not receive, the station's transmitter. Although Guinean law guarantees freedom of the press, it also reserves for the state exclusive power to grant broadcasting licenses. Radio Frequence Gandal had been ready to begin broadcasts since January 1992, and was told several times by the National Council on Communication that it would be granted a license.