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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- Ivory Coast's communications minister has lashed out at the United States Embassy in Abidjan over a report citing restrictions on press freedom, including the suspension last year of several opposition media outlets.

Affoussiata Bamba-Lamine said in a statement released late Monday that the report "contains deficiencies" that undermine its credibility, and the embassy should have presented its findings to the government before going public with them.

The State Department's annual report on human rights in Ivory Coast said there had been "limited restrictions on press freedom" in 2012 and highlighted temporary suspensions levied against opposition newspapers and journalists. In one case last August, the National Press Council suspended the opposition newspaper Le Temps for 20 editions over an opinion piece that compared President Alassane Ouattara to a "ghoulish vampire."


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