In Mali, Islamist militants order station to stop airing music

Two officials of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), a Salafist militant group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, raided the studios of Radio Annya in the northeastern town of Gao on August 20, 2012, according to the BBC.

The officials interrupted Radio Annya’s rebroadcast of “Couleurs Tropicales,” a cultural program of Radio France Internationale (RFI), and ordered the station to stop broadcasting music, Kader Touré, the station’s director, told the BBC.

Since seizing Gao from separatist rebels in June 2012, MUJAO militants have enforced a ban on music in the town, including musical programs on radio stations, local journalists told CPJ. MUJAO is one of a number of Islamist militant groups who have overtaken Mali’s vast Saharan north and imposed strict Sharia law, according to news reports.

Touré told CPJ that the station had been exercising self-censorship and had avoided criticizing the Islamist authorities.