Senegalese broadcaster silenced

Bad news coming out of Dakar. Media Helping Media has the story.

An estimated 70 armed soldiers raided the Dakar offices of Avenir Communication on May 31 as owner Madiambal Diagne was holding a press conference to launch Premiere FM.

The commander of the gendarmes and officials of the national telecommunications and stations regulatory authority reportedly asked Mr Diagne to stop Premiere FM broadcasts.

When Mr Diagne refused, the soldiers removed radio equipment, leaving the station off the air.

Avenir Communication are the publishers of Le Quotidien, Week End magazine and the satirical Cocorico.

Mr Diagne’s publications have been critical of the government. He first applied for a broadcasting licence in 2003 but has suffered numerous delays by the government.

In recent months, the authorities reportedly pressured an equipment supplier not to provide Premiere FM with materials and refused to allow the station to broadcast after claiming its transmitter was too close to the airport, even though other stations broadcast from similar locations.

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