MOGADISHU, Somalia, February 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The National Union of Somali Journalists [NUSOJ] condemns today’s decision by the Somaliland Information Minister in which he reportedly suspended the operations of Universal TV on 03 February, 2014, the latest in a string of violence against the journalist and the media in Somaliland.
In an press conference summoned by the Somaliland Information Minister Abdullahi Dahir Ukuse said the ministry has revoked the license from the Universal TV’s Bureau. The minister accused the Television for insulting their leader.
Universal TV, a privately owned Somali language satellite Television, based in London, has been airing a comic program which contained interviews and other contents about political leaders in Somalia. The Television’s program called Faaliyaha Qaranka program is presented and led by famous Somali artists and comedians. In its recent program aired on Sunday the station’s Faaliyaha Qaranka program presented a cartoon-based comic interview about the President of Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, who leads the breakaway regions of Somaliland.
NUSOJ condemns the decision by the Somaliland authorities to ban the television and called for its immediate secession and stop intimidations, harassments, arbitrary detentions against the journalists and the media at large and respect mthe media freedoms and the freedom of expression which has been guaranteed under both the Federal constitution and the Somaliland constitution
“The decision to suspend Universal TV’s operations in Somaliland is clear violation against the press freedom and freedom of expression and shows how the authorities in Somaliland are still committed to silence the independent media.” NUSOJ Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim said, “We call on the authorities in Somaliland to respect the media freedoms and freedom of expression which is key to a more stable and democratic society.” Mr. Ibrahim added.
A dozen more journalists were arrested in Somaliland in December alone, making the region the worst jailer of journalists in Somalia.
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)