15 July 1996


Military occupies private radio station

On 6 July 1996, soldiers evacuated and occupied the offices of
ANFANI FM 100 MHZ, a privately-owned radio station in Niamey. As
of 11 July, the station had not broadcast since the beginning of
the occupation.

According to Gremah Boucar, director of the private media group,
AGENCE ANFANI, which owns ANFANI FM 100 MHZ and the newspaper
"Anfani", the military arrived at 22:20 hours on 6 July,
surrounded the station and forced employees to leave the premises.
The soldiers confiscated the keys to the property and offices and
have since prohibited the staff from entering to work. Boucar said
that ANFANI FM management expected this type of action from the
military because the station has covered the political opposition
during the current presidential election period. Niger's military
ruler General Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, who led the overthrow of
former president Mahamane Ousmane in January, claimed an outright
victory of the elections held on 7 and 8 July, shortly after
dissolving the Independent National Electoral Commission, imposing
a nationwide ban on demonstrations and public gatherings, and
cutting international telephone lines. Boucar also expressed
fears of escalated government threats and harrassment against the
media group in the near future.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities in Niger:

  • expressing concern at the military's unlawful occupation of the
    station as a grave attack on press freedom
  • expressing that censorship has no place in a democracy and
    contradicts the principles behind elections
  • urging that ANFANI FM staff be allowed to carry out their
    professional duties free from further harassment, particularly
    in light of the current election period.

    Appeals To

    General Ibrahim Bare Mainassara
    Niamey, Niger
    Fax: +227 72 2245/+227 72 2472
    or via the Ministry of Communications: + 227 72 2336

    your diplomatic representative in Niger

    the Niger diplomatic representative in your country

    (in Canada)
    Embassy of the Republic of Niger
    38 Blackburn Ave.
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1N 8A2 Canada
    Fax: +1 613 230 9808

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    Committee to Protect Journalists
    330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 465 9568
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