State security agents forcibly close community radio station without explanation
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||14 January 2011|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, State security agents forcibly close community radio station without explanation, 14 January 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d3533741a.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
State security agents yesterday ransacked Teranga FM, a community radio station located outside the capital, and ordered its closure, Reporters Without Borders has learned from various sources.
"We condemn such brutal methods and urge the government to explain this incident at once," Reporters Without Borders said. "We also call for the station to be reopened. Independent media are rare in a country that is so hostile to press freedom. The effect of such measures is to reduce the public's access to any other news but reports about the daily activities of the president and his government."
"I believe the closure is linked with the press reviews of the independent press that the radio station is doing everyday in local languages, with which the authorities are not happy," a Gambian journalist told Reporters Without Borders. "The independent press is covering the opposition's daily activities, while state media, both the radio and the TV, only cover government activities."
Launched in 2009, Teranga FM is based in Sinju Alajie, about 20 km west of Banjul, the capital. It is funded by donations from the local population and advertising.
Citizen Radio FM, a station that was closed during the general elections in 2002, has never reopened.
Reporters Without Borders issued a release last month, on the sixth anniversary of journalist Deyda Hydara's still unpunished murder, condemning the press freedom situation in Gambia and urging the government to let the media breathe.
Gambia was ranked 125th out of 178 countries in the 2010 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. A demented and violent dictator who openly threatens human rights activists and journalists, President Yahya Jammeh has for years been on the Reporters Without Borders list of "Predators of Press Freedom".