Saturday, May 05, 2018

Burundi to suspend operations of VOA, BBC ahead of May 17 referendum

Burundi on Friday announced broadcast bans on two international networks. The measure which takes off on Monday May 7 affects the Voice of America (VOA) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The ban according to a government statement is to last for a period of six months. The reason for the suspension is for "falling short of laws governing the press" and "breaching professional ethics".

More at :

VOA statement on Government of Burundi's Suspension of VOA Operations

Washington, D.C.—The Voice of America condemns the recent action of the government of Burundi to suspend its broadcast operations for six months, effective May 7.

"We are dismayed by the actions taken today by the Burundi National Communications Council to ban VOA from broadcasting its news and information programs," said VOA Director Amanda Bennett. "Our audience members count on VOA to provide factual, unbiased and objective coverage of current events, so this ban deprives the citizens of Burundi of a trusted news source during a critical time in that country. This is even more distressing coming only one day after World Press Freedom Day – a day calling for governments to remove, not impose, restrictions on the media."

VOA content will continue to be available in Kirundi and Kinyarwanda via shortwave channels, on the Internet and on FM transmitters located in neighboring countries.

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