Puntland suspends 2 television networks from operation

1 November 2011

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) wishes to protest against the decision of Puntland government to suspend two private television networks from operating.

Puntland President, Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, officially announced the suspension of Universal TV and Somali Channel TV from operating in the regions controlled by his government, when he addressed the 27th session of Puntland parliament on 30th October. He accused the two television networks of being obstacle to security of Puntland.

In the course of Farole speech, reporters and cameramen of the television networks were stopped from covering the session and removed from the precincts of parliament.

Following the president’s speech, the television networks received official letters on 30 October 2011 from Abdillahi Mohamed Farah Aswad, Deputy Minister of Information, Telecommunication and heritage of Puntland confirming the suspension for unspecified period.

“Journalists and media organizations in Puntland have been confronted with difficult situations. They have suffered bullet wounds, been arrested and now the suspension of the two media channels. We denounce the decision by the Puntland authorities to suspend from operations the two television networks and we consider it an affront to the work of free media,” said Omar Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

During a recent visit in London, Farole and his aides reportedly stopped Somali Chanel TV cameramen and reporters from covering a press conference he was holding in London.

“We appeal to Puntland authorities to withdraw the suspension against the television stations and allow them to do their work without controls and stop restrictions on journalists work,” Osman added.

For further information, contact:
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
Taleex Street, KM4 Area, Hodan District,
Mogadishu, Somalia, tel/fax: +252 1 859 944,
e-mail: newsletter@nusoj.org
Internet: http://www.nusoj.org

National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is a national union representing Somali journalists to promote and protect freedom of the press and the interests and rights of journalists. It is a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Freedom of Expression exchange (IFEX), Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA). NUSOJ is partner with Reporters without Borders (RWB).