News from Africa

Somali Journalists Shocked by the Decision of Puntland Authorities to ban Three more Radio Stations

Human Rights

Témoignages.re / 4 April 2013

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is shocked by the decision of the Puntland Administration bans three more Radio stations and calls for the Puntland authorities to retract its decision in respect for the free press and freedom of expression. The attack is the latest in a string of violence against the media in Puntland ahead of the elections of the local governments in the areas controlled by the Puntland Administration, banning 6 radio stations in less than two months.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)

Puntland Ministry of Information and its police chief ordered the shutdown of Radio Daljir, One Nation and Codka Nabada (Voice of Peace) radio in separate decrees. The three radio stations are independent and privately owned radio stations with some of them had stations in Garowe, Bosaso, Galkacyo, Burtinle, Buuhoodle and Qardho reaching the wider audience of the people in the regions of Puntland.

“The three radio stations violated the Puntland constitution and the Puntland Media law and therefore, the ministry closes the offices of the Radio Daljir, One Nation and Codka Nabadda Radio.” According to a decree issued on 24/03/2013 and signed by the Puntland Minister of Information, Mr, Mohamoud Aideed Dirir but was delivered to the radio station on Wednesday April 03, 2013.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the Puntland Authorities to allow the radio stations to resume operations and call to respect the freedom of expression and the freedom of Press as enshrined both in the Puntland constitution and the provisional federal constitution.

“The Radio stations were registered under the ministry of information and have the right to go into partnership agreements with other media organizations as they had partnership agreements with the banned radio stations and there is no law prohibiting them to do so.” Mr. Burhan Ahmed Dahir, NUSOJ president said, “We cannot accept this draconian law and will continue our struggle for press freedom.”

The ministry accuses the radio stations for not complying the orders from the ministry to stop the radio programming of the radio stations; Ergo, Bar-Kulan and Hirad, which the ministry banned February 2013.

The draft media law is a suppressive bill which has not been passed by the Puntland parliament. The administration recently introduced a six page draft draconian media law which the ministry plans to dominate the media freedoms and the freedom of expression in contrary to the Puntland constitution which guarantees the freedom of the press and the freedom of xpression. The Puntland ministry of information plans to table the draconian media bill before the parliament.

“This draft media law is not acceptable as it will end all the opportunities to create free media in Puntland.” Burhaan Ahmed Dahir, NUSOJ president said, “We call for the Puntland Parliament to negate the bill, which if passed would mean outlawing the right of the citizens to freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by the Puntland Constitution and the Provisional federal constitution”.

On February 21, 2013, the Puntland Administration banned the radio programming of Radio Ergo, Bar-Kulan and Radio Hirad who had gone into partnership agreements with local radio stations, registered under the Puntland Authorities.

Puntland authorities shut down Radio Horseed FM, an privately owned radio station, at the commercial port town of Bosaso in Bari region on October 6, 2012. Since then, the radio stations remain silent.

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