Private TV station closed without warning in Hargaysa
SOMA is outraged by the Shutdown of Universal TV in Hargeisa
Mogadishu, Somalia, 27 June, 2020:- Somali Media Association (SOMA) is outraged by the shutdown of Universal TV Headquarters in Hargeisa by the Somaliland Information Ministry.
Armed police forcibly took over the station’s Headquarters on 27 June, 2020, told the journalists and other employees to leave the premises immediately before confiscating their phones, according to Universal TV director in Hargeisa, Mohamed Abi Digale.
Somaliland Information Minister Saleban Yusuf Ali said the shutdown of the Universal TV offices in Hargeisa follows after the TV station failed to livestream an address by the Somaliland President Muse Biihi on the commemoration of 26 June, which is when Somaliland gained its independence from British colony 1960.
Somali Media Association (SOMA) is outraged by the Somaliland authorities oppressive measures aimed to silence the independent media, while SOMA condemns the illegal shutdown of Universal TV, only days after shutting down another TV station, Star TV.
“We are outraged by the continuous oppressive measures by the Somaliland authorities and its continued shutdown of TV stations in the region,” Mohamed Abdiwahab, SOMA Secretary General said, “We call for the authorities to immediately allow the TV stations to resume operation.”
“Freedom of the press and the freedom of expression is protected by the Somaliland constitution and the authorities should observe these laws and allow the TV stations and other journalists to exercise such freedoms freely without fear” Mr. Abduwahab added.