Radio Victoire allowed to resume broadcasting
"We are relieved at the announcement of Radio Victoire's return to the airwaves. A three year broadcasting ban and the seizure of the station's equipment were abusive and disproportionate actions," the organisation said.
Georges Agbodjan, president of the broadcast regulator Haute Autorité de l'audiovisuel et de la communication (HAAC), announced the decision to allow Radio Victoire to resume broadcasting in a 22 March letter to the station's financial and administrative director, Edmond Agbozo.
Radio Victoire ceased broadcasting on 7 February 2002, following the seizure of its transmission equipment by Interior Ministry officials. The station was accused of ignoring an HAAC warning sent to station management earlier.
According to the Togolese Union of Independent Radio and Television Broadcasters (Union des radios et télévisions libres du Togo, URATEL), Communications and Civic Education Minister Pitang Tchalla "weighed-in heavily on the decision to reopen Radio Victoire."
Before reopening, Radio Victoire was forced to settle accrued licencing fees in the amount of 700,000 CFA Francs (approx. US$1,385; 1,070 euros) owed to the regulatory body for the post and telecommunications sector (Autorité de réglementation des secteurs des postes et telecommunications, ART&P).
Station management contacted by RSF said they expected to resume broadcasting by 28 March 2005, as all their equipment had been returned.