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Uganda8 January 2003

Government curbs live radio broadcasts

Reporters Without Borders protested today at the government’s crackdown on live outside radio broadcasts of the views of ordinary Ugandans.

"This is just a way of preventing people debating national issues and making themselves heard", said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to information minister Basoga Nsadhu, calling on him to allow the broadcasts to continue.

Nsadhu told on 2nd January that the law only allowed stations to broadcast from their studios, not from outside them. The street broadcasts, known as "ebimeeza", sprung up two years ago, when some stations organised round-table discussions outdoors and broadcast the results live. The "people’s parliaments", as they were nicknamed, are very popular.

Among the stations affected are Radio One, Central Broadcasting Service and Radio Simba.

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