Somalia's Puntland shuts 3 radio stations
04 April 2013, 17:08
Mogadishu - Three private radio stations in Somalia's
northern Puntland region have been ordered to shut, prompting an angry reaction
from journalists claiming the local government was muzzling press freedom,
officials said on Thursday.
Mohamoud Aideed Dirir, information minister of the
semi-autonomous state, said the three stations had "violated Puntland's
constitution and media laws" for re-broadcasting programmes from other
"The ministry therefore closes the offices of the Radio
Daljir, One Nation and Codka Nabadda Radio," he said.
The stations are accused of repeating programmes broadcast
on three other radio stations banned in February for allegedly violating media
Puntland's parliament is considering a draft media law which
journalists have criticised as a move to limit press freedom.
Somalia's journalist union official Burhan Ahmed Dahir
condemned the closures.
"The radio stations were registered under the
information ministry and have the right to go into partnership agreements with
other organisation's, there is no law prohibiting them to do that," said
"We continue our struggle for press freedom," he
Somalia's journalists have suffered a string of attacks,
including assassinations or bomb blasts often blamed on al-Qaeda-linked Shebaab
insurgents. Other murders are also believed to be linked to struggles within
the multiple factions in power.
The war-ravaged nation is one of the most dangerous places
for journalists to work, with at least 18 media workers killed killed last
year. Three have been murdered in 2013.
Last week, the first conviction was made for the killing of
a journalist, when a court in the Somali capital Mogadishu sentenced a man to
death for the murder of radio reporter Hassan Yusuf Absuge in September 2012.
Somalia has been without effective central authority since
the 1991 ouster of Siad Barre that sparked two decades of civil war.