Benin ALERT: Authorities interrupt RFI transmission, summon correspondent

Media professional groups in Benin accused the country’s authorities of halting the transmission of Radio France International (RFI) and denied the population access to a programme on corruption allegations against President Boni Yayi.

Raïssa Gbédji, RFI’s correspondent in Cotonou, the capital, was summoned for interrogation by Théophile Nata, the president of the media regulatory body, the Higher Authority for Audiovisual Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC).

Radio France International (RFI) was off air for about 14 hours on August 2, following a broadcast on demands from Members of Parliament (MP) for President Yayi to be tried on charges relating to perjury and abuse of office.

About 50 of the 83 MPs in the country’s parliament had accused President Boni of corruption. They claimed President Boni had offered an illegal assistance to Investment Consultancy and Computering Services, an insurance company, which was reported to have funded his campaign.

The correspondent said although the HAAC boss, Nata, expressed his disproval of the RFI’s broadcast, it denied interfering with the station’s transmission.

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