A radio station known for being critical of the Liberian government has been kept off air for the second day after armed police blocked staff’s access to the tower that hosts the station’s transmitter.
Roots FM, a popular Monrovia radio station which broadcasts on 102.7FM, is owned by the opposition political commentator Henry Costa. Just last week, station equipment worth around $10,000 (£7,760) was stolen and damaged by unidentified gunmen. Among the stolen items was Roots FM’s transmitter, which fans crowdfunded to replace with a new one that police are now cordoning off.
The government condemned last week’s attack, promising a police investigation. Three weeks ago, a similar attack on the station forced it off air for several days. Liberia’s Information Minister Eugene Nagbe said the police presence at Roots FM was part of an ongoing investigation into the station’s previous complaint that it had been vandalised, and had its transmitter stolen away by armed men.
But that statement was rubbished by outspoken opposition politician Yekeh Kolubah, who said the government simply wants to silence critical views.