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Journalist detained briefly, interrogated by intelligence services following publication of article on army's involvement in police force promotions

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 11 March 2008, Atizar Mendes Pereira, journalist and director of "Última Hora", a privately-owned Bissau-based newspaper, was arrested and detained by the Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Interior of Guinea Bissau.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that Pereira was interrogated for nearly six hours, before being released.

The correspondent said the arrest of the journalist followed the publication of an article in "Última Hora", which said that the Chief of Staff of the country's Armed Forces, General Baptista Tagme Nawaie, intended to disarm the men from the police stations in the capital, Bissau.

Pereira later told the media that despite the psychological torture he suffered, he still stands by his story and that he would not retract even a comma.

Two organisations, the National Union of Journalists and Social Communications Technicians and the Human Rights League, have condemned the arrest and detention of the journalist.

According to the Human Rights League, the action of the State Intelligence was illegal and violates the principle of the rule of law of the country.

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