February 24, 2010 / 4:34 PM / 10 years ago

Ivory Coast suspends France 24 televison station

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has suspended satellite TV news station France 24 over a headline reporting many deaths during a protest, the government said on Wednesday, despite the fact that five people were killed.

The National Council for Audiovisual Communication scrambled France 24’s signal late on Monday and it has not been restored.

The council (CNCA) President Franck Kouassi told Reuters the station would remain suspended until further notice.

“This is the status quo for now,” he said, adding that the action was taken for “unprofessional treatment of information”.

No one at France 24 was immediately available to comment.

Kouassi said France 24’s scrolling headline had reported many deaths during a violent protest in the western Ivory Coast city of Gagnoa on Friday, when security forces opened fire on demonstrators, killing five.

While not disputing the headline, he said it had got stuck there for too long instead of moving on to another item.

“The scrolling headline stayed stuck for 10 minutes affirming that there had been many deaths in a peremptory manner,” Kouassi said.

Violent protests erupted in Ivory Coast after President Laurent Gbagbo disbanded the government and electoral commission on February 12. Seven people have been killed by security forces in the unrest so far, though the country has remained calm since Tuesday.

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