Togo regulator closes three radio stations – “Administrative reasons” press release


The Togolese authorities on December 29, 2010 closed down three privately-owned radio stations in Lome, the capital, over administrative reasons.

A statement issued by the regulatory body, Posts and Telecommunications' Regulatory Authority (ART&P) and signed by Palouki Massina, its director general said the decision was taken after it undertook a 10-day joint review of the stations together with the High Authority for Broadcasting and Communication (HAAC) in November 2010.

The statement said the stations, X-Solaire, Metropolys and Providence were operating illegally as they did not have the required registration documents and standard broadcasting equipment.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent in Togo reported that since the closure, the officials of the stations have been met with delay tactics from the authorities, in their efforts to obtain the required documents.

Meanwhile, the media group, SOS Journaliste en Danger, has condemned the action of the authorities. In a release issued on January 12, the SOS said it was an attempt by the authorities to muzzle the stations which were deemed critical of the administration of President Faure Gnassingbé.

The media group wondered why in spite of the stations'status, the ART&P was collecting licensing fees from them.