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Private radio station resumes broadcasting in central city

(RSF/IFEX) - On 14 June 2010, the main privately-owned radio station in the central city of Agadez, Sahara FM, was back on the air for the first time since it was shut down in 2008. It was able to resume broadcasting after obtaining a permit from the National Institute for Communication (ONC), the media's new regulatory authority.

The station was closed "for an indefinite period" on 22 April 2008 by the Higher Council for Communication (CSC), the previous regulatory authority, after being accused by then President Mamadou Tandja's government of being "a dangerous radio station broadcasting calls for ethnic hatred".

"We welcome this development, which allows Niger to recover a truly independent news outlet," Reporters Without Borders said. "The reopening of this radio station has come at a time when the country's media are enjoying more and more freedom. The climate for the press has improved significantly since President Tandja's removal last February."

The national media conference held at the end of March led to the adoption of a law decriminalising press offences at the start of June.

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