Gambia orders three radio stations to end broadcasting

This posting is an important update by the Committee to protect journalists and the freedom of the press worldwide:

Lagos, Nigeria, The month of january 5, 2017–The Committee to Protect Media today called on Gambian professionals to allow three independent radio stations in order to resume full broadcasting. Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio, and Afri Stereo stopped broadcasting on January one on the orders of national protection agents, who did not give any kind of explanation for the measure, according to information reports.

The closures arrive amid a political crisis within Gambia after President Yahya Jammeh refused to admit defeat within elections last month. Authorities might have targeted at least one of the stations right after it announced details of President-elect Adama Barrow’s inauguration, planned for The month of january 19, an unnamed journalist through Afri Radio was cited within news reviews as saying.

“The Gambia government’s choice to summarily censor three r / c is a clear effort to restrict people’s access to information during this important period of political transition, ” mentioned CPJ West Africa Representative Philip Nkanga. “Authorities should immediately plus unconditionally allow the radio stations to continue broadcasting and desist from muzzling the press. ”

National Intelligence Agency agents as well as a police officer told staff at the privately-owned Taranga FM they were acting on professional orders to stop the station transmitting, according to media reports . Afri Radio has been allowed back on air The month of january 3 on the condition it transmit only music, news reports said .

Emil Touray, head from the Gambia Press Union, called the purchases to stop broadcasting “a slap within the face” for democracy, according to mass media reports .

Authorities have frequently censored and harassed Taranga FM, CPJ provides found . A Gambian courtroom on November 8, 2016, found guilty Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, the station’s exiled manager, of three matters of sedition and spreading fake news, based on media reports . He or she was sentenced in absentia in order to two years in prison and a great of 200, 000 Gambian dalasi (US$4674).

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