Colombia - Help for threatened community gay radio station



    MONTREAL, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders is helping a
Bogota-based community radio station that is struggling to survive after being
the target of threats and a break-in. Radio Diversia is Latin America's first
web radio for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.
    The station's computers, containing details of its journalists,
contributors, activities and projects, were stolen on the night of 30 April.
Their disappearance poses a serious danger for Radio Diversia's staff,
listeners and supporters as a mysterious group calling itself "The
Organisation" has recently claimed responsibility for several acts of
homophobic violence in the name of a supposed moral crusade.
    The Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP) and the International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) contacted the authorities immediately after the break-in to
ask what measures were being taken to protect the station, and it has
continued to press them on this matter.
    Radio Diversia received a message on 5 May warning that it would be
bombed if the station's manager, Carlos Serrano, did not leave Colombia within
week. The threat was taken seriously. Serrano left the country, the station's
journalists went into hiding and broadcasting was suspended.
    Despite the dangers, Radio Diversia is again trying to broadcast for
several hours a day from a temporary location. The assistance provided by
Reporters Without Borders will help it to replace the stolen equipment and to
continue broadcasting part of its programming every day from 2 to 6 pm.
    Radio Diversia will only be able to resume normal operations after it has
found new permanent premises that are secure. The operational costs that the
station still has to cover are 1,700 euros a month.




For further information:

For further information: Maude Marshall, Reporters Without Borders
Canada, (514) 521-4111, rsfcanada3@rsf.org

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