The government of President Charles Taylor has banned “DC-Talk,” a popular talk show programme on the independent DC101 FM station in Monrovia,Liberia. The programme has a phone-in segment which allows listeners to express their views on issues of national concern.
No reason was given for the ban which has been in effect since Tuesday, May 7, 2002. However, MFWA-Liberia sources suggest that President Taylor’s government has not been happy about some critical comments made on the programme. For instance, it is perceived that the renewal of sanctions against Liberia may have been informed, in part at least, by public comments expressed on “DC-Talk” while the United Nations Sanctions Committee was in the country in April this year. Incidentally, the programme was ordered off air on the same day that the UN Security Council announced the renewal of the so-called “smart sanctions” against Taylor’s government.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) views the ban order on the popular talk programme as further evidence of President Taylor’s relentless attempts to clamp down on the independent media and silence critical public opinion in Liberia.
The MFWA urges the government to lift the ban and permit the free and legitimate exercise of media freedom and freedom of expression in the country. The MFWA requests you to kindly appeal against the continued ban on the “DCTalk” programme.