SJS condemns closure of Radio Gedo and Somaliland’s order to delist Universal TV and Star TV

 

MOGADISHU, Somalia 29 June, 2020 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) calls for Somali authorities in Gedo to allow Radio Gedo to resume operations and withdraw security forces from the radio premises as we also call for Somaliland authorities to cease its crackdown on Universal TV and Star TV.

Armed officers from the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) led by Abdullahi Kanini took over the independent privately-owned Radio Gedo premises in the town of Dolow in Gedo region on Sunday 28 June, and ordered journalists and staff to shutdown the radio and leave with immediate effect. According to the radio director, Mohamud Abdirashid who spoke to SJS, the officers instructed the radio management to surrender the station’s keys. The radio station’s management said they were not informed reasons behind the closure.

“We strongly condemn the unlawful raid and the shutting down of Radio Gedo in Dolow town. We call for the Federal and regional authorities in Gedo to immediately allow the radio station to resume operations and pull out its armed officers deployed into the radio premises,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

Radio Gedo becomes the third media station closed down within a course of a week.

In Somaliland, on Monday 29 June, the Minister of Information, Saleban Yusuf Ali (Kore) sent a note ordering the local television cable providers to delist both Universal TV and Star TV from their receivers. In his letter, the minister who stated that his ministry had revoked the licenses from Universal TV and Star TV had also instructed local business companies to cease advertisement contracts with he both outlets. According to the letter, the order took effect on Monday. Offices of the both stations remain shuttered since 25 June and 27 June respectively.

“This order from the Somaliland’s Minister of Information against Universal TV and Star TV is clearly an attack on press freedom and an infringement against the Constitutional right to access to information. We call Somaliland authorities to stop its crackdown on the independent media and respect its very own Constitution hat guarantees the freedom of the media,”Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of the Somali Syndicate (SJS) adds.

SJS welcomes the freedom of Horyaal24 TV journalist, Jabir Said Duale who was released from Erigavo jail on Sunday 28 June on presidential pardon. He was arrested on Monday 22 June and was remanded by the Sanag Regional Court on Thursday on charges related to covering “unlawful” local protest in Erigavo in mid June.(END)