Media caught up in bloody Lesotho crisis

Lesotho ArmyFrom TSOANELO MOKHAHLANE in Maseru, Lesotho
MASERU, (CAJ News) – RIGHTS groups are demanding the release of a Lesotho radio station owner that authorities have closed amid the government’s crackdown on dissenting voices.
Candi Ramainoane has been detained following the closure of MoAfrika FM last week.
He has been charged with defamation amid a series of his reports criticizing the current political situation triggered by the killing of the country’s army chief, Lieutenant General Khoantle Motsomotso, earlier this month.
Dismissed soldiers are accused of the assassination.
Amnesty International said the subsequent closure of Ramainoane’s station and his arrest were a witch-hunt aimed at harassing and intimidating the press in the Southern African country.
“The defamation charge against him is spurious and cynical and is meant to send a chilling message to other media owners and journalists of the consequences they face for scrutinising the government,” Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty regional Deputy Director, said.
Mwananyanda said the media executive must be released immediately and unconditionally and be allowed to do his job.
Volatile Lesotho is hostile to media.
Last year, newspaper editor Lloyd Mutungamiri, survived an assassination attempt for allegedly defaming then-commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Tlali Kennedy Kamoli.
Self-censorship has increased as a result of harassment, threats and increased readiness by officials and members of the public to sue journalists.

–  CAJ News

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Posted by on Sep 18 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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