17 August 1999


Independent radio station threatened

Incident details


(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Saïd Abeid, the president of
the government of Anjouan Island, RSF called for an end to the threats
against Radio Ushababi and asked that the station's journalists' security be
assured. Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general, stated: "These
actions run counter to information pluralism and the right to inform, as
guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights."

According to RSF's information, Radio Ushababi is a victim of administrative
and police harassment (summonings and interrogations), and its team of
journalists has been physically threatened on a number of occasions by a
group of separatist militiamen. Militiamen have demonstrated on several
occasions in front of the radio station's offices, threatening the use of
force. The independent radio station was created on 1 June 1999 in
Mutsamudu. It is led by a group of young journalists who are opposed to the
independence movement, which already led to this island's declaration of
independence from the Islamic Republic of the Comoros in 1997. On 9 August,
the radio station's management was forced to cease broadcasting because of
security threats. The constant threats and attacks had become too dangerous.
In 1997, the same group of young journalists was forced to cease publishing
the newspaper "Ushababi", further to similar pressure against them.


Reporters Without Borders
47, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris, France
rsf (@) rsf.org

Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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