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A few weeks after banning BBC, government refuses to renew licence of Monte Carlo Radio's Arabic-language service

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 4 October 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the escalating restrictive policy of the Sudanese government on all media. Shortly after banning the BBC Arabic radio service, the Sudanese government decided a few days ago to ban Monte Carlo Radio's Arabic service, which is broadcast from Paris. No reason was given for the decision.

The administrators of Monte Carlo Radio submitted a request for license renewal to air on the FM 93 frequency to the Ministry of Information in Sudan. The Sudanese government, however, declined to renew the license, alleging that certain laws and regulation do not permit it. The same trivial reasoning was given when the BBC was banned.

ANHRI said, "Despite the declaration of the Sudanese government that banning both services has neither a political basis nor does it have to do with their editorial line, this decision being made at this moment against two of the most popular services operating in the Arabic region for such a long time leaves us with only one interpretation, which is that the Sudanese government intends to silence all media outlets that do not comply with their policies before the upcoming referendum on separation."

ANHRI is deeply disturbed at the weak condition of freedom of expression in Sudan. The circle of oppression is not only tightening on Sudanese opposition papers and media, but is choking independent and international media as well. No one knows where the attempts of the Sudanese government to uproot freedom of expression will lead.

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