Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Niger18 February 2003

Radio station closed down after giving air time to former rebels

Reporters Without Borders today deplored the government’s closure of the privately-owned radio station Nomade FM as "a serious threat to press freedom and the growth of independent and diverse expression in the region."

The station, which broadcasts around Agadez, 1,000 km northeast of the capital, Niamey, was shut down on 11 February for "inciting rebellion" after programme director Ismaghil Iltinin invited two former anti-government rebels onto a local-language talk show on 5 February to discuss "peace, security and development" in Northern Niger.

They criticised the government for not applying the peace agreement it had signed, especially concerning reintegration of the rebels into mainstream society.

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard called on the authorities to allow the station to reopen at once so the journalists could once more do their job freely.

The head of the station, Serge Hilbron, said Agadez police came to close it down and showed a telegram signed by the interior minister, who reportedly acted on the orders of President Mamadou Tandja.

Abdoulaye Tiemogo, editor of the weekly Le Canard Echainée, is due to be released from prison on 20 February at the end of an eight-month sentence for libelling Prime Minister Hama Amadou, who sued him on 18 June last year after three articles strongly criticised him for trying to corrupt the head of parliament so he could keep his post as prime minister.

In this country
3 April - Niger
In latest judicial harassment of broadcasting group, director-general charged with “false news”
6 February - Niger
Editor of the weekly L’Action sentenced to three months in prison
18 November - Niger
Two l’Evénement journalists given suspended prison sentences for defamation
12 November - Niger
Newspaper editor freed after being given suspended prison sentence
7 October - Niger
Court orders journalist’s provisional release after more than a year in detention

in the annual report
Niger - Annual Report 2008
Niger - Annual Report 2007
Niger - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives

18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election

Sign the petitions
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists