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Presidential press secretary threatens to close radio station

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 17 April 2007, Barnabé Gomes, a presidential press officer, threatened to close Radio Bombolom, an independent radio station based in Bissau, the capital, for allegedly broadcasting a programme that he claimed could worsen the country's political situation.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that after the press officer's unsuccessful bid to stop the programme's broadcast, he threatened to close the station.

Barnabé Gomes alleged that a similar broadcast resulted in the former prime minister, Aristides Gomes, losing his job.

This is not the first time that that the radio station has been threatened with closure.

On 15 November 2006, a group of President Joao Bernardo Vieira's supporters besieged Radio Bombolom and forced journalist Antonio Iaia Seidi to disclose his source of information (see IFEX alert of 6 December 2006).

The angry group also forcibly broadcast a rejoinder to an earlier story filed by Seidi.

The MFWA condemns these threats, which have the tendency to undermine media freedom in Guinea-Bissau.

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