/ 13 September 2012

Cote d’Ivoire council suspends pro-Gbagbo papers

Former Côte d'Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo
Former Côte d'Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo

The CNP accused the papers of publishing photos of Gbagbo and those close to him, who are now in jail, with banned captions detailing ministerial posts given to some of these aides during a post-electoral crisis in December 2010 to April 2011.

Gbagbo had been defeated in November 2010 elections by Alassane Ouattara, but refused to step down and named his own ministers, triggering a showdown that claimed some 3 000 lives before he was arrested.

He is in prison at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he faces trial for crimes against humanity.

The suspensions were ordered on Wedneday and none of the papers concerned, Le Temps, Aujourd'hui, Le Nouveau Courrier, Lg Info, Le Quotidien d'Abidjan and L'Alternative were on the newstands on Thursday.

Another paper, Notre Voie, the mouthpiece of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front, has already been suspended by the CNP, until Saturday.

The men described as ministers were named by Gbagbo on December 6 2010, but their appointments were declared null and void by Ouattara in April 2011.

The newspapers were suspended for the same reason as Notre Voie last week, when the CNP ruled that the photo captions posts were "seditious" and "of a nature to prolong the post-electoral crisis", giving the impression that there were two governments in Côte d'Ivoire.

Pro-Gbagbo papers are frequently suspended by the CNP, mainly on account of their refusal to acknowledge Ouattara's victory at the polls in 2010. The West African country's press is known for being strongly partisan and virulent in its editorials, but it has a restricted circulation. – Sapa-AFP