Sierra Leone gov’t closes opposition radio station

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Flag of Sierra Leone
Flag of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s opposition “Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Radio Unity FM 94.0 has unceremoniously gone off air.

The opposition Party accused the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) of shutting down its Unity Fm 94.0 radio, a charge the government has owned up citing illegality.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the radio was not properly registered.

“Its papers are not correct and it is causing problems for other air space users by interfering with their transmission,” the ministry said.

According to opposition SLPP Secretary General Jacob SLAJ Saffa, the radio was shut down on the orders of the Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, and his deputy Mohamed Koroma.

Chairman Independent Media Commission, Mrs. Bernadette Cole, said the SLPP radio Unity 94 FM was legally registered with the Independent Media Commission (IMC). “It has a right to broadcast,” she said.

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists condemned the act, saying it undermined Press Freedom. Government lacks the legal status to ban any radio or Newspaper in this Country. It is the IMC that should have acted.

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