Another radio station ordered to shut down by Gambian forces

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Gambian authorities have shut down another popular private radio station, Paradise FM, in the capital Banjul on Sunday night after shutting down three others last week.

Local media report that six security agents in plain clothes believed to be officials of the National Intelligence Agency besieged the station an hour before midnight and ordered them to stop broadcasts and shut down immediately.

Reasons were not given for the action and after further questioning, the men directed the staff of the radio to inquire from the communication ministry, Jollof News reported.

Paradise FM broadcast a political programme hours earlier which hosted the opposition coalition spokesperson Halifa Sallah and the organising secretary of President Yahya Jammeh’s party, Yankuba Colley.

The media has come under attack since the political crisis in The Gambia where Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow in the December 1 election, but later called for a fresh poll.

Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations last week without giving any reasons. The stations: Teranga FM, Hilltop Radio and Afri Radio are popular for their newspaper reviews and coverage of opposition news items.

The Army has pledged allegiance to Jammeh despite efforts by regional bloc ECOWAS to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

ECOWAS says it is monitoring events as The Gambia’s Supreme Court hears the case on January 10 filed by Jammeh’s party to cancel the election result and hold fresh elections.

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