The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ ) has today condemned the timing of the Senegalese Government's announcement that private broadcasters faced closure for non payment of licenses fees made on Sunday 22 March which was also local elections day in the country.
"It is extraordinary for the goverment to make a statement directly threatening the closure of certain private media on the most important and testing day in any journalist's calendar," declared Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office. "This appears to be as a direct warning to media on how they choose to cover the election results."
The Agency for Telecommunications and Postal Regulation (ARTP) issued a statement on the evening of the election day to urge private radios and televisions to inmediately pay their royalties or face the withdrawal of their frequencies.
While commending the initiative of the Information and Telecommunications Minister who asked the ARTP to postpone the decision, the IFJ calls on the Government to open a dialogue with media owners in order to safeguards the media businesses and jobs for many journalists and the numerous media workers.
"The Government should be working with the media owners to ensure that they are able to meet their obligations to pay the license fees without threatening their right and capacity to broadcast. Media pluralism and the jobs and livelihoods of many dedicated media professionals are at stake," added Baglo.
For more information contact the IFJ at + 221 33 86795 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide