Saturday, June 11, 2005

STAR Radio returns to Liberia

Good news for Liberians. Star Radio, one of the country's most important free press outlets, is back on the air, reports Radio Netherlands.

Star was set up with the aim of providing Liberians with impartial news and information and began broadcasting, initially on FM only, on 15 July 1997 shortly after the country's first civil war ended. Star added shortwave services not longer after its launch, but the frequencies were withdrawn by the regime of Charles Taylor.

Taylor shut down the station altogether in March 2000. Taylor told a news conference, that "during my administration, STAR Radio will not come back on the air... Only the government has the right over the airwaves in this country. It is not the right of anyone to run a radio station. It is a privilege. Your right is to free speech."

Following Taylor's explusion into exile in 2003, the transitional government of Liberia lifted the ban on Star.

The station rejoined the airwaves a few weeks ago.


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