News

July 27, 2020

Guinea Bissau: attack by gunmen silences opposition radio station in Bissau

armed assailants destroyed the transmitter and ransacked the main studio @Capital FM
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an attack by gunmen that has silenced a popular opposition radio station in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, and calls on the authorities to identify and punish those responsible.

The station, Capital-FM, which is very critical of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló’s government, has been unable to broadcast since the attack on the night of 25 July.

 

“The armed assailants destroyed the transmitter and ransacked the main studio and all of its equipment,” Capital-FM deputy director Sabino Santos told RSF. “The station can no longer broadcast. We have filed a complaint with the Bissau judicial police, accusing unidentified attackers.”

 

“We strongly condemn this attack, which is designed to silence journalists who are just doing their job,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “We call for an investigation to identify and punish those responsible, because this attack constitutes a serious press freedom violation.”

 

Capital-FM’s most popular broadcast is a phone-in programme from 8 to 10 p.m. that allows callers to express their views on the political situation. The station’s critics accuse it of openly supporting the opposition African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and its leader, Domingos Simoes Pereira, runner-up to Embaló in last November’s presidential election.

 

This is not the first time a radio station has been targeted for supporting the opposition. Africa FM’s branches in two provincial cities, Bafatá and Buba, were closed by the previous administration in April 2019, just months before the presidential election.

 

Guinea-Bissau is ranked 94th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index.