Niger / IFJ Condemns Niger Suspension of Broadcaster
NIAMEY, Niger, August 22, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the media regulatory body the High Council of Communication of Niger (CSC) to withdraw its decision to suspend for a month a private broadcaster claiming the action was “confused, unclear and dangerous.”
“The High Council of Communication should play its role of regulating the media in the country but it should follow proper procedures,” said Gabriel Baglo, the Director of IFJ Africa office. “The CSC has not justified its ban on this network and its action is confused, unclear and dangerous for media freedom.”
On Tuesday, the High Council of Communication issued a decision announcing the closure for one month of Radio and Television Dounia for “not respecting the terms of reference”. According to Radio and Television Dounia management the CSC gave neither any other clarification nor a notification.
This decision came the same day an appeal court denied provisional release to Moussa Kaka, correspondent for Radio France International and director of privately-owned Radio Saraouniya. Kaka has been detained for 11 months on suspicion of aiding rebels. The IFJ protested against this decision and has renewed its call for the release and the discharge of Kaka.
“This injustice is untenable,” said Baglo. “This case casts a long shadow over the quality of democracy and rights of journalists to do their work without interference. Our colleague should be set free immediately.”
In another case of concern to the IFJ, the Niger government on July 2 closed the country’s Press House over accusations of mismanagement and collusion with “groups with secret plans.” According to a group of Niger media organisations, the CSC has been threatening to ban all the private newspapers whose directors don’t have a press card.
The IFJ says that this series of events amounts to serious pressure on journalism and has called on Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou and the Chairman of the CSC Daouda Diallo to put an end to punitive actions against media.
SOURCE : International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)