Officers of the dreaded National Intelligence Agency (NIA) on the night of August 14, 2012 stormed the premises of Taranga FM, a community radio station based in south-west district of Banjul, the capital, and forced the station to close down. No explanation was given for this disruptive act.
According to the Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) sources, Pick-Up trucks carrying officers of the NIA were seen on the premises of the radio station few hours to mid-night. According to the sources, Ismaila Ceesay, managing editor of the station, confirmed the incident stating that the only reason the officers gave for the closure was that it was “a directive from above. ”However, it is reported that the closure could be linked to comments made by members of some opposition parties during a weekly talk show, aired on the station.
In 2011, the Gambian authorities on two separate occasions forced Taranga FM to halt the transmission of its newspaper review programmes which were broadcast in the two popular Gambian languages, Wolof and Mandinka, to the majority of Gambians.
The MFWA calls on the government of President Jammeh to as a matter of urgency, ensure that Taranga FM resumes broadcasting, drawing attention to the fact that most citizens, especially, the uneducated in society, rely on the station for their news.
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