39 C
Abuja
Friday, February 28, 2020

Opposition radio station in Benin rep. sacks all staff after govt revoke license

A radio station in Benin belonging to an exiled opponent of President Patrice Talon has sacked all its staff after authorities stopped it from broadcasting, employees said Wednesday.

Soleil FM, owned by France-based businessman Sebastien Avajon, has been off the air since the country’s communication watchdog told it to halt its programming in December “until further notice.”

Journalist Virgile Ahouanse confirmed the staff had been let go and attacked the decision to pull the license as a “radical step that disregarded the public’s right to information.”

The latest moves have sparked fresh concerns about freedom of the press in the West African country as Talon faces accusations of stifling dissent and forcing his rivals to go abroad.

Rights group Amnesty International this week described a “climate of censorship and fear” among the Benin media and warned that a law targeting misinformation online was being used to harass the media.

Seventeen journalists, bloggers and opposition activists have been investigated under the legislation in recent years, Amnesty said.

Reporter Ignace Sossou was jailed in December for 18 months over an internet post critical of the government.

Former French colony Benin has typically been seen as among West Africa’s most stable democracies. But it has been facing a political crisis since controversial parliamentary elections in April sparked mass protests.

Talon, a former business magnate who came to power in 2016, has been accused of using a string of legal cases to rid himself of opponents.

Multimillionaire Ajavon, who came in third in the presidential election, was in 2018 sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for trafficking cocaine.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Latest News

‘I used to guard the ministry, now I’m the minister’ – Somaliland minister

It's not often you hear of a security guard rising through the ranks to become a government minister, but Suleiman Yusuf Koore did just...

35 migrants rescued off Libyan coast – UN Agency

A commercial ship has rescued 35 Europe-bound migrants off Libya’s Mediterranean coast and returned them to the capital, Tripoli, the U.N. migration agency said.The...

US warns of a possible repeat of Kenya hotel attack

The United States embassy in Kenya has warned of a terrorist attack at a major hotel in the capital, Nairobi, although the exact hotel...

Congo DR set to sign peace deal with armed militia

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is set to sign a peace deal with leaders of an armed militia that's been active...

Two South Africans test positive for coronavirus

Two South African nationals working aboard a cruise ship quarantined at sea have contracted coronavirus, according to the country's health ministry.It quoted Japanese officials...

Italian man becomes Nigeria’s first case of coronavirus

An Italian man who arrived in Nigeria three days ago has become the African country’s first case of coronavirus, the health minister said on...

African Union to deploy 3000 strong force to Sahel

The African Union said on Thursday that it expected to send a temporary deployment of 3,000 soldiers to West Africa's Sahel region, where regional...

South Africa to repatriate citizens from Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak

The South African government wants to repatriate all South Africans from the Chinese city of Wuhan the epicentre of coronavirus that has ravaged Asia...

Guinea’s Conde snubs Ecowas delegations

Guinea's President Alpha Condé has refused to meet a delegation of West African leaders as the country heads towards a referendum that could allow...

Al-Qaeda, Islamic States affiliates team up in West Africa

West Africa’s sprawling Sahel region is the only place in the world where fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group are cooperating,...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -
%d bloggers like this: