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Niger Orders Closure of 15 Private Radio Stations - 2003-09-29


The government of Niger has ordered at least 15 private radio stations off the air. The nation's communications council says the stations had received their broadcast licenses illegally.

Niger's chief media regulator, Mariama Keita, was suspended earlier this month for allegedly bypassing regulations and giving out media licenses unilaterally.

Reports from the capital, Niamey, indicate the government's move does not appear to be politically motivated.

However, journalists' organizations have denounced the order and urged the stations to keep broadcasting. Some stations are said to be defying the shutdown order, and the government is threatening to send out soldiers to make them comply.

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