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Radio stations practising self-censorship to prevent attacks

(MFWA/IFEX) - Privately-owned radio stations in Guinea have since September 28, 2009 suspended the broadcast of all political progammes on their networks.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that the decision followed continuous harassment from the public and the military as well as persons suspected to be working in the interest of the opposition.

"Private radio stations are being intimidated and threatened on a daily basis, so we do not want to take risks. We will, therefore, play music to avoid raids, as was the case of Liberté FM in 2007," a member of the Guinea Association of Private Radio Stations told the correspondent.

Among the programmes suspended is "Défoulez-vous" on Sabari FM.

Although Familia FM has toned down its "Societé débat" programme and suspended some programmes such as "Coup de gueule", on October 4, a group of civilians stormed the station's offices and threatened the staff claiming that the station was supporting the junta.

"The other night, a group of individuals came to our station and accused us of airing news that was in favour of the junta. They wanted to turn our editorial offices upside down. We were saved by the security forces," said a journalist with Familia FM.

"We have been receiving phone threats not to air programmes critical of the authorities," another journalist from Soleil FM told the correspondent under condition of anonymity, for fear of his safety.

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