AMARC International calls for the return on the airwaves of community Arta FM

Auteur : éditeur Radio E... / Date: 03-03-2014 / Tag: actu /

Montreal, February 19th, 2014. ARTA FM community radio has not been allowed to broadcast its program since Tuesday, February 18, following the outbreak in its office of fifteen armed agents of the Autonomous Police of the Syrian Kurdistan (the Asayish, tolerated by the Damascus regime) calling for the closure of the radio broadcasting. AMARC International calls Kurdish authorities of Syria to guarantee the immediate return on the airwaves of the station.

“We have been facing for a week now a campaign of truly black propaganda against us”, said Siruan Hadsch Hossein, the director general of ARTA FM. “This campaign is particularly relayed on Facebook. It has been done by people close to local authorities, including a former employee of the station that has been fired a week ago.”
“Last Tuesday, the Asayish first asked station’s staff to only broadcast music and to interrupt our programs, before ordering the evacuation of our office”, says Siruan Hadsch Hossein. “We are now accused of illegally broadcasting, while the radio, established on July 6, 2013, has a broadcasting license issued by the authorities themselves.” The Director of ARTA FM said that the station has no political agenda and ascribe this censorship as a form of jealousy towards the community radio’s ability to gather the communities of the region.
As a multilingual radio (Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac), ARTA FM reaches an audience of about one million people. It has fifty employees spread between cities of Amudah, where its headquarters are located, and Qamishli. No individual threat against them has fortunately been reported since the closure of the station.
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 150 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

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