News

    Independent Media Go on Strike against Niger President’s Decree

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Abdulrahman Ousmane, owner of “Alternative” newspaper and a leading member of (ANEPI) spoke with Clottey

    In Niger, newspaper publishers and journalists will embark on a one-week strike Monday to protest what they describe as President Mamadou Tandja's move to silence the independent media. 

    The Niger Association of Independent Printers (ANEPI) also called on Nigeriens to join in the struggle to protect their freedoms. 



    This follows President Tandja's decree last week giving sweeping powers to the broadcasting commission to take punitive actions against any media criticism of his planned 4 August referendum.

    The president, whose second five-year term ends in December, wants a mandate to change the constitution to extend his rule for three more years. 

    But the independent press is condemning the move as draconian and dictatorial.

    "Today Monday, (the) Organization of Media of Niger has decided to not publish any independent newspaper from Monday to Friday. And we decided it because we want to react against the decision of the President, Mamadou Tandja, to concentrate all the power of the Supreme Council of Communication in the hand of the president of this council," said Abdulrahman Ousmane, owner of "Alternative" newspaper and a leading member of (ANEPI).

    He said the strike aims to pressure President Tandja to reverse the decree.

    "For us this decision is going against the principle of independence of this council. And so we decided to demonstrate until the cancellation of President Tandja Mamadou," he said.

    Ousmane said the president's decree is unconstitutional.

    "The Supreme Council of Communication according to the constitution is an independent institution, so now with this decision it won't be a reality. The council will be in the president's office," Ousmane said.

    He said the president's decree undermines Niger's hard-won freedoms.

    "We don't accept it because we have fought many years before to have an independent institution to regulate the media. So we don't accept this decision of President Mamadou Tandja to transform an independent institution to an institution dependent on him," he said.

    Ousmane hopes the strike will impair the August 4 referendum.

    "We think that our struggle will have an impact so Niger citizens will know that the press freedom and the independent media are very important in the democratic system. So we want to show Niger people what will happen to their lives without independent media," Ousmane said.

    Embattled President Tandja plans to hold an August 4 referendum despite wide condemnation from opposition groups and the international community.


    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora