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Burkina Faso Temporarily Halts BBC and VOA Broadcasts Following Controversial Human Rights Coverage

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louis Buyisiwe

Apr 26, 2024

The report by HRW, an influential rights organization

Ibrahim Traore: From Battlefield to Leading Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso – Burkina Faso's government has suspended the radio broadcasts of BBC Africa and the U.S.-funded Voice of America (VOA) for two weeks.

The suspension comes in response to their coverage of a Human Rights Watch report that accused the Burkinabe military of extrajudicial killings, including the deaths of at least 56 children in February. The report alleges these killings are part of a broader campaign against civilians suspected of aiding jihadist militants.

The national communication council labeled the report as likely to incite public disorder due to its "peremptory and tendentious" statements against the military.

In addition to the broadcast suspension, authorities have also blocked access within Burkina Faso to the websites of BBC, VOA, and Human Rights Watch.

VOA Acting Director John Lippman emphasized the organization's commitment to accurate and balanced journalism and called on the Burkinabe government to reconsider its decision. This development has sparked international concern over press freedom and human rights in Burkina Faso.

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