SJS and SOMA condemn Somaliland’s suspension on independent TV

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Mogadishu (Onkod Radio) — Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) strongly condemn the suspension against the privately-owned independent CBA television in Hargeisa by the Somaliland Ministry of Information on Wednesday.

On Wednesday 7 September, Somaliland Minister of Information, Suleyman Yusuf Ali Koore issued a letter in which he suspended CBA TV headquarters in Hargeisa. Citing the region’s media law, the minister alleged the station on “spreading news and programs against the peace and the unity of the people of Somaliland and that the expiration of the station’s license”. In a statement, CBA TV management refuted both allegations.

SJS and SOMA took note that the Minister of Information, Mr. Koore, surprisingly brought up and referenced an article that does not include in the Somaliland Media Law. We strongly condemn this decision which is nothing more than an intimidation and use of punitive measures to silence an independent and critical journalism in Somaliland.

Actions targeting independent media have increased in Somaliland in the past few months. The $10,000 fine and suppression against MM Somali TV on 23 August and the ban and closure of BBC Media Action and BBC Somali Service on 25 July are among the latest spike of threats and intimidation against journalists and independent media houses in Somaliland.

“We express our solidarity for the management of CBA TV by condemning the illegal decision of the Somaliland Minister of Information, Mr. Koore against CBA TV. This suspension is unacceptable and should be lifted immediately and without condition,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary-General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said. “We call Minister Koore to cease his hostile tactics, intimidation and the use of punitive measures to silence free media and journalists operating in Somaliland.”

“We strongly condemn the suspension on CBA TV which is an independent media outlet that conducts its activities professionally and impartially. The Ministry of Information of Somaliland has recently made a habit of unlawful repressive measures aimed to stifle the free press operating in Somaliland. We demand that such measures be withdrawn immediately,” Mohamed Osman Makaran, the Secretary-General of the Somali Media Association (SOMA) said.

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