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Cameroon15 December 2003

Cardinal’s radio station gets permission to resume broadcasting

CAMEROON Cardinal Christian Tumi’s radio station, Veritas, was finally given permission to broadcast on 12 December, subject to its respecting its "religious nature" and accepting the "the archdiocese of Douala’s supervision."

Veritas was taken off the air on 14 November of the orders of the communication ministry. Then, a couple of weeks ago, it was allowed to resume broadcasting on a "trial" basis in Douala, in the west of the country. Cardinal Tumi is well known for being critical of President Paul Biya and his government.


Government bans another radio station

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the Cameroon government’s shutdown of Radio Veritas, a station founded and run by Cardinal Christian Tumi, a leading critic of President Paul Biya.

"We do not understand how in the space of a few weeks, some stations have been allotted frequencies while this one has been closed down," said the press freedom organisation’s secretary-general, Robert Ménard.

"Veritas and Freedom FM, set up by the Le Messager media group, have been banned because of their criticism, despite the government’s technical and legal explanations. We fear the situation will get worse as next year’s presidential election approaches," he said.

Veritas, which went off the air on 15 November, a day after being banned by the communications ministry, had been test-broadcasting in Douala, the country’s main city, for two weeks.

Radio Freedom, founded by the boss of the Le Messager group, Pius Njawe, was banned in May when police put its equipment under seal on the eve of its inauguration. Njawe sued to get the ban lifted but in mid-October, communications minister Jacques Fame Ndongo counter-sued, charging that Njawe had set up the station without permission. He called for official seizure of its equipment and the fining of Njawé.

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