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Media regulatory body threatens to close radio and television stations

(MFWA/IFEX) - The High Communications Council (CSC), the media regulatory body, has threatened to withdraw the licence of any radio or television station that allows journalists to criticise the CSC.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that this was revealed by the institution's president, Daouda Diallo, during a meeting between the CSC and the owners of private radio and television stations on 17 October 2007.

MFWA's correspondent reported that during the meeting, Diallo accused the private media of providing a platform for certain journalists to "insult" CSC members. He therefore declared that henceforth, the CSC will not hesitate to close down radio and television stations and to sue those who attack its members.

Since the resurgence of the armed rebellion in northern Niger in March 2007, the CSC has taken several disciplinary decisions against the media. Several newspaper and radio stations have been suspended, while warnings have been issued against others. The Council also banned live debates on the rebellion by the independent media (see IFEX alert of 20 July 2007).

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