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Senegal: Radio Stations Suspended

(Mar. 27, 2009) According to the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, on March 14, 2009, Senegal suspended the operations of three radio stations in the suburbs of Dakar. The action was taken by the National Council for Broadcasting Regulation and will be in force for two months. The stations are being punished for violating the rules against covering political issues related to local elections, contained in article 19 of the community radio regulations. Reporters Without Borders commented on the move, stating, “[c]ontrary to all our hopes and despite our repeated calls for respect for diversity of views, President Abdoulaye Wade's government has again set a bad example.” The organization went on to state that the suspension “dashes the illusions of those who might still have believed in Senegal's democratic image. … This double standard, in which those who support the president are allowed to speak and those who do not are silenced, is unfair and absurd.” (Press Release, Reporters Without Borders, Senegal: Three Community Radio Stations Suspended for Broadcasting Political Programmes (Mar. 17, 2009), available at

The stations involved in the suspension are Oxy Jeunes, of Pikine; Afia FM, in Grand Yoff; and Djoloff FM, in Linguère. This recent action follows the 2008 sentencing of newspaper editor El Malick Seck to three years in jail, after he was alleged to have printed false information about President Wade. (Id. & Report of Trial Observation: El-Malick Seck – Senegal, Media Foundation for West Africa website, Mar. 12, 2009, available at