Guinea: Democracy Under Fire

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Diallo left Guinea that night and is now a journalist in exile living in New York City, using new media to continue his work in the run-up to the Guinean elections now scheduled for June 27.

[Global: Media Panel]

Come and here from a Guinean journalist who was at the soccer stadium in Conakry last year when soldiers went on a rampage and massacred at least 150 civilians, and raped scores of women in public.

International outrage eventually forced the military junta there to agree to step down, paving the way for elections this summer.

Speakers at "Democracy Under Fire: Freedom of Media in Guinea," on May 12 from 7-9 PM at Columbia University include Journalist Nassirou Diallo who will provide an eye witness acoount of the massacre. He was there - covering the events live on the radio before the station owner cut the signal.

It wasn't the first time his reporting and political talk shows had put him in danger and the previous threats, arrests, and beatings he and other journalists in Guinea had received from soldiers told him that this last eye witness report would not be tolerated. He left Guinea that night and is now a journalist in exile living in New York City, using new media to continue his work in the run-up to the Guinean elections now scheduled for June 27.  If held, they will be the first democratic presidential elections in the country's history.

The panel will also include Josh Friedman, Head of international programs, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and board member, Committee to Protect Journalists, and, Alice Backer, Former Global Voices Online editor responsible for African blogs, new media communications consultant. The moderator is Milton Allimadi, Publisher & CEO, Black Star News www.blackstarnews.com
               
On September 28, 2009, the military in Guinea stormed a stadium filled with tens of thousands of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators and opened fire. In the end over 150 people were killed, 1,700 wounded and more than 100 women and girls brutally raped in what a Human Rights Watch and a UN Commission of Inquiry have deemed crimes against humanity.

Join this discussion with a journalist and panel on the frontlines addressing questions of the freedom of media in times of political and social turmoil and the situation in Guinea in particular, the nexus of journalism and activism, and the role of new media in opening the space for expression across borders and diasporas.

The Columbia School of Journalism is located at 2950 Broadway at 116th St., New York, NY, 10027. Come to the, Stabile Student Center, at the Journalism School.

Presented in partnership with the Guinean Forces Vives in the USA and Columbia University's African Studies Working Group. To RSVP and for more information email allianceguinea@gmail.com or connect on Facebook. For Black Star News’ feature on Nassirou Diallo, "Guinea Frontline Reporter," see here http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/6529/2010-05-11.html


Listen to Diallo on WNYC Radio's Brian Lehrer Show on May 12 at 11:40 AM  http://www.wnyc.org/

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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