Somaliland Censors And Bans Two Privately-Owned TV Stations Indefinitely
Somaliland, a region of Somalia in East Africa has reportedly censored and banned two privately-owned TV stations in the capital of Hargeisa - Eryal TV and Horyaal 24 TV - indefinitely, taking both the TV stations off the air.
Somaliland's Minister of Information, Mohamed Muse Dirie, who is also a censorship boss, ordered that Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV stop broadcasting in Somaliland.
He did not give any reasons for banning the two TV stations, but sources say that the police had accused the TV stations of broadcasting content that severely threatened national security.
Neither TV station was given clarification of exactly what the alleged content is that reportedly "threatened national security".
The Committee to Protect Journalists said that the police entered the offices of both Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV last week and ordered them to shut down.
According to the owner of Eryal TV, Adan Aideed Abdi and Horyaal 24 TV's Chairman, Mohamed Osman Mireh (Siyad), the police handed them letters that were signed by Mohamed Muse Dirie but did not allow the TV channels' management to make copies of the letter.
The Sub-Saharan Africa representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Muthoki Mump released a statement saying that the arbitrary banning of Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV without any due process sends the message that government officials control Somaliland media.
Mump called on the government to unconditionally and immediately lift the bans and allow for freedom of the press.
The CPJ's calls and text messages sent to Mohamed Muse Dirie allegedly went unanswered.
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