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PRESS UNION TO MEET PURA OVER WARNINGS TO RADIO STATIONS

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By Alagie Manneh

Pura will today meet with members of the GPU leadership including officials of the Media Council to discuss the uproar caused by its (Pura) warning letters to three radio stations.

The three stations, King FM, Home Digital and Fayda FM are accused of breaching their licence conditions with Pura claiming they broadcast “certain contents which are not in-keeping” with their licence conditions.

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It has asked the stations in question for a formal response on or before May 9 on why punitive actions should not be taken against them.

 The media fraternity and human rights observers say the three stations were targeted for political reasons coming barely a week after President Barrow criticised some radio stations.  The matter has also attracted independent media watch dogs who have called for the protection of freedom of speech.

Speaking to The Standard ahead of the discussions, GPU President Muhammed Bah said: “The meeting with Pura has been confirmed for today, Tuesday. Both King and Home Digital FM lodged complaints at the GPU and raised their concerns. It is the responsibility of the union to look into those concerns and demand for a meeting to address the issues. Pura accused them of being partisan and bias. That’s why the Media Council will also be part of the meeting.”

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Mr Bah said the burning issues will be extensively discussed with a view to finding a solution on the matter. “We don’t want a reoccurrence of this situation. But we will also discuss how Pura and the Media Council can work together to avoid a repeat of these issues. What we would like to see moving forward is for Pura to engage the Media Council before making such decisions in the future. What we wouldn’t want is for the regulator to trample on press freedom.”

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