September 24th, 2010 - 9:04 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
Nowegian company Nera Networks, which builds infrastructure for telecommunications worldwide, has recently refurbished the state TV channel RTVGE in Equatorial Guinea. Now propaganda from Equatorial Guinea’s dictator President Obiang reaches all corners of the country. A large number of Norwegian companies in the oil industry have contributed to building the oil industry in Equatorial Guinea. Norwatch says that some of the state’s oil revenues are being used to build up the propaganda in the country.
Last year, the Information Ministry kicked out four of the journalists from RTVGE. They had been “disobedient” and “lacked enthusiasm”, it said. According to Reporters Without Borders, the reason may be that they did not cover the government’s “track record” sufficiently. Another RTVGE journalist was arrested by police three days after he had made a radio report about seven dead bodies that were discovered on a public waste dump. Journalists are continually denied entry to the country. The only private channel is owned by the president’s son.
It is with this total media control that President Obiang wins elections by between 95 and 100 percent of the vote. Ever since 1979, when he killed his presidential uncle in a coup, Obiang has ruled the country with an iron fist. The country is among the richest in the world per capita, but 77% of the population in deep poverty. All proceeds from the oil industry go to the president’s closest allies.
Rainer Henig, who has immersed herself in Equatorial Guinea’s economic history through doctoral studies at the University of Troms?, says it is very worrying that a Norwegian company supports such a system, and a permanent media channel is an important tool that President Obiang can use to retain power in the country.
“It’s hard for us to comment on individual contracts. In general, we believe that communications technology and infrastructure promote democracy and human rights and provide a basis for economic growth. We see this as a positive step that the country will come out of poverty,” Trygve Dahle of Nera told Norwatch. But he added that “Neither we nor other companies, unfortunately, can guarantee that our products are not misused in some situations”.
ضع تعليق باستخدام حساب الفيس بوك
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