Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Chad17 December 2003

Radio FM-Liberté allowed back on air

Radio FM-Liberté was allowed back on air on 17 December. The minister of public security and immigration Abdramane Moussa signed an order that authorised it to resume broadcasting.

The radio was shut down on 21 October for „illegal operation and deviant behaviour" after broadcasting an item that was highly critical of President Idriss Deby. One journalist accused the head of state of being a poor democrat and having brought in „predators, destroyers of the economy and professional killers who hold the power of life and death over other citizens".


Radio FM-Liberté closed

Reporters Without Borders has protested the indefinite closure, on 21 October 2003, of the community radio station FM-Liberté by the Public Security Ministry for "illegal operation and deviant behaviour". This decision follows the broadcast of a report that was very critical of President Idriss Deby.

"The evolution of freedom of expression in Chad had been relatively positive in recent years. Unfortunately, we are compelled to note that certain subjects remain taboo, especially when the president and his entourage are involved. In spring 2003, two journalists spent two months in prison after criticising the head of state’s mother-in-law," said Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Robert Ménard. "This is not the first time that the country’s authorities have attacked FM-Liberté, which is known to have close ties to human rights organisations," added Robert Ménard.

FM-Liberté recently compared President Deby to Hissène Habré, the former Chadian dictator (1982-1990), and accused him of having "brought in predators, destroyers of the economy and professional killers who hold the power of life and death over other citizens." On 17 October, the radio station’s editor-in-chief, Dobian Assingar, was called to order by the High Council of Communications (Haut conseil de la communication) on order of Communication Minister Moctar Wawa Dahab. On 21 October, a Public Security Ministry decree stipulated that, "Radio FM-Liberté is closed from this day on, until further notice, for illegal operation and deviant behaviour."

The radio station has been subject to government pressure in the past due to the content of its programmes. During the 2001 presidential election, the station was ordered to stop broadcasting political debates. The following year, Radio FM-Liberté was suspended for three weeks for disrupting public order after reporting on a student demonstration in Cameroon.

In this country
28 March - Chad
N’Djamena press reappears for first time since state of emergency proclaimed
20 March - Chad
Dismay at government’s decision to withdraw French reporter’s accreditation
27 February - Chad
Adoption of new press law by decree called “unacceptable imposition”
22 February - Chad
Disastrous plight of independent media under state of emergency deplored
15 February - Chad/Sudan
Privately-owned press caught up in a proxy war

in the annual report
Chad - Annual Report 2008
Chad - Annual Report 2007
Chad - 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