Monday, October 20, 2014


 The Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) has reacted to the announcement this week that Ahmed Afif will no longer be allowed to participate in Revi Finansyel, a popular weekly phone-in show on Pure FM dedicated to demystifying some of the economic and financial issues affecting Seychelles. Its secretary general, Alexander Niyungeko, wrote in a statement that the move is “a drawback to press freedom and freedom of expression”, and called on government to promote an environment conducive to a free press.

In an interview earlier this week, Mr. Afif told our newspaper that he believed it to be “a political decision” and described the situation as “a big blow to democracy and press freedom”. Mr. Niyungeko said that the EAJA considers the discontinuation of Mr Afif’s participation as “an attempt to limit access to information” and condemns “any pressure that may have led to it”. Also on the website was a quote from the Association of Media Practitioners (AMPS) which expressed its disappointment over the dismissal of Mr Afif. AMPS remarked that the move “would intimidate local journalists and stifle the growth of a free and independent press in the country”.

The EAJA stressed that the establishment of private media houses in Seychelles in recent years has been a positive development. “However, this new development is viewed as a roll-back on the recent opening up of media freedom and liberalization of the local media” in Seychelles, it added. Social media was also abuzz with indignation and there is speculation that Facebook users and fans of the radio show intend to create a petition to signal their opposition to the decision.