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Bryant lifts three-year ban on independent Star Radio

The chairman (president) of Liberia's transitional government, Gyude Bryant, said on Monday he had lifted a ban on Star Radio, a widely admired independent radio station which was closed down by former president Charles Taylor more than three years ago.

Bryant announced the move as he launched a "Back to school" campaign aimed at giving every child in Liberia a free and compulsory primary education.

Star Radio, which is owned by the Swiss-based Hirondelle Foundation, was closed down by Taylor on 15 March, 2000 for broadcasting what he called "hate messages against the Liberian government”.

Prior to the closure of its FM station in the capital Monrovia, Star Radio had been banned from broadcasting on short wave to the whole of Liberia.

Star Radio was established in 1997 to provide a voice for all Liberians and for pro-democracy institutions in the run-up to elections that brought Taylor to power at the half-way point in Liberia's 14-year civil war. The conflict finally came to an end in August this year after Taylor was forced to step down in and go into exile in Nigeria.

Bryant said on Monday: “I do hereby today lift the ban on Star Radio. We further direct that Star Radio is now at liberty to liaise with appropriate agencies of government to satisfy requirements in relations to its frequency and the renewal of its broadcasting rights."

He said Star Radio's had a key role to play in the “development of communication and enhancing the integrity of our media industry.”

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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