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Authorities suspend decree targeting foreign media

(MFWA/IFEX) - The authorities in Niger have suspended a decree that the country's media and civil society groups said would restrict the flow of information and gag foreign journalists. The decree was first issued on 3 June 2010.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent in Niger reported that Djibo Salou, Head of State of the Transitional Government made an announcement on 12 June suspending the decree, following widespread protests.

The new law had required foreign media outlets and their foreign journalists to seek clearance from the Ministry of Communication, New Technologies and Culture before producing film documentaries or filming documentaries in the country.

Article 6 of the decree said: " . . . anyone applying for authorization to film documentaries and reports must, before entering Niger, be in possession of a copy of the authorization signed by the Minister of Communication". It also said, "henceforth, any foreign media outfit, production agency, association or NGO that wants to do documentaries or reports must pay for them".

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