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Media regulator censors private radio stations

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 31 August 2009, Guinea's media regulatory body, the National Communications Council (CNC), suspended all political programmes and phone-ins in all languages on privately-owned radio stations in the country.

A release signed by Jean Raymond Soumah, the president of the CNC, said the ban became necessary in order to instill professionalism in the broadcasting industry and would be in force "until further notice."

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that the ban is the latest attempt by the military authorities to suppress the Guineans and impose the junta leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, on them by encouraging him to contest next year's presidential election.

In the wake of recent protests by Guineans to prevent Captain Camara from contesting the country's 2010 election, the authorities have responded with arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists and other civil society activists.

Meanwhile, the Union of Free Radio and Television Stations of Guinea (URTELGUI), an association of radio station managers, has protested against the CNC's decision. They said they would not obey the directive as the CNC's order is an affront to freedom of opinion.

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