Mogadishu, Somalia – The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is protesting against the decision to ban the Somali Chanel television in Beletwein, Hiiraan in Central Somalia by the Hiiraan administration on Sunday, 26 January, 2014.
The deputy chairman of the Beletwein district in charge of public relations, Abdikarim Shire Abdi announced the ban of the Somali Chanel television, a privately owned television based in the UK, on Sunday under the areas under their control, after the television aired a report over a recent clan fighting in the region, which infuriated the Hiiraan administration.
The director of the Somali Chanel Television in Mogadishu, Mohamed Said Ahmed confirmed the ban against the television to NUSOJ.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the ban on the strongest terms possible, which is a bare act to suppress and intimidate the other independent media and calls for immediate resumption of the television’s activities in the region.
“Violation to press freedom”
“The decision to ban the television’s activities in the region is a violation to the press freedom and the freedom of expression which is enshrined in the federal constitution and is unacceptable term.”
Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, “We demand from the Hiiraan administration to unconditionally lift the ban and give respect to the media freedoms. The ban not only threatens Somali Chanel but also the whole media in the region deemed critical to the administration.”
In a separate incident, the Shabab banned the use of the internet and smartphones in the areas under their control and the ban went into effect last week. This is described as a complete violation which contravenes the basic granted freedoms on the citizens.