Gambian government closes fourth radio station in one week

Gambian authorities have closed a fourth radio station in one week, a presenter with Paradigm FM, the affected station, said on Monday.

 

Andree Gibba, the presenter, said the station was closed on orders allegedly given by communication and information ministry.

 

The closure came hours after Paradise FM had interviewed a spokesman of a coalition backing Adama Barrow, the president-elect, to whom President Yahya Jammeh has refused to cede power after losing the December 1 election.

 

The closure followed those of Teranga FM, Hilltop FM and Afri radio, all of which the authorities did not given an explanation for.

 

The Gambia press union has expressed concern that the closures could signal a crackdown on independent media amid the country’s escalating political crisis.

 

Barrow has said he would take power on January 19 as mandated by the constitution, despite Jammeh having challenged the election results in court.

 

After more than two decades in power, Jammeh, 51, lost the election to Barrow, a former real estate agent who was little-known even in Gambia before he announced his candidature.

 

West African leaders were due to meet in Abuja today to discuss the crisis.

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