Rights of freedom of expression and of the press are not always supported in practice though the constitution guarantees such protection. Libel and slander are regarded as criminal acts, and are punished by imprisonment. The publishing director of Le CanardEnchaine was sentenced to six months in prison for slander. However, the International Press Institute noted an overall decline in the number of press freedom violations during the year. A government newspaper and a dozen private publications circulate. Some are loosely affiliated with political parties. There are several private radio stations, some of which broadcast in local languages. In April, parliament opened a new radio station named the Voice of the National Assembly. Media outlets joined together to set up a Press Center in the capital of Niamey, which in addition to coordinating dialogue among journalists was charged with helping to negotiate the price, purchase and distribution of newsprint, film and other necessary items.