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REGIONS:

Opposition television station resumes broadcasts after week-long ban

(JED/IFEX) - Kinshasa, 14 July 2011 - In an open letter to Media and Communications Minster Lambert Mende on 13 July, following a ban on the privately-owned opposition television station Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV), JED strongly condemned what it called "a patently arbitrary act, from all standpoints" and called for an immediate lifting of the ban.

The ban was lifted on 15 July, almost a week after it was issued.

The station ban nonetheless raises concerns, notes JED, coming on the heels of other displays of political intolerance witnessed in recent weeks in Kinshasa and other parts of the country, and threatens to compromise a transparent and democratic electoral process.

The RLTV signal was cut on 9 July shortly before noon after the station was accused of "promoting violence" and "contributing to the disturbance of public order".

In its letter to the minster, JED called the charges baseless and warned against attempts to legitimise censorship for political ends in the run up to presidential elections.
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