Star Radio Press Release

The Perspective
March 16, 2001

It's been a year since Star Radio was ordered closed down. It's been a year since the Liberian journalists at Star Radio, who had been hailed by the people for their high journalistic standards, their impartiality and their reporting, were effectively muzzled.

The closing of Star Radio is unacceptable. Journalists, human rights defence groups and the general public have all said the same thing. In Liberia, Star Radio was not simply another media voice indistinguishable from all the others. It was a voice that went further than the rest in
reporting the facts as they were. It was also a concrete example of how journalists could work independently and how democracy could function to a certain degree in the country. Star Radio was a ray of hope for Liberia; hope for the journalists and democratically-minded people in the country
who saw in Star Radio a place where journalists could practice their craft the way they thought it should be done.

It's been a year since Star Radio was closed. The Hirondelle Foundation, who undertook to provide the journalists in Liberia with a platform on which they could work, rejects this act of force. The Foundation has tried to convince the government to grant permission to resume broadcasting. It's
been in vain. Nevertheless, it remains our ambition to support media outlets which are independent, strong and professionally strict in places where they are not wanted. We are gratified to see that Radio Veritas, which was closed down at the same time as Star Radio, has resumed broadcasting. We want the same for Star Radio. We appeal to all those who supported the operation and who are concerned about freedom of expression in Liberia not to resign themselves to its closure, but rather to do
everything in their power to see that it reopens. We also appeal to the Liberian government to review its position and reverse the decision it took last year.

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