The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) condemns today's decision by the Somaliland Ministry of Information to suspend the operations of Horncable TV on Monday,18 November, 2019, the latest in a string of violence against the journalist and the media in Somaliland.
"Somaliland has shut down Horn Cable television Headquarter in Hargeisa, Somaliland and arbitrarily arrested the editor of the TV Mr. Abdulkadir Salebaan Aseyr known as "Codey" who is now detained in the Criminal Investigation Department in Hargeisa" Director General of Horn Cable TV confirmed to FESOJ on the phone.
It is not yet clear the main purpose of editor's arrest but it came at a time when there are political protests and tensions in the city in which media is reporting.
HCTV's Director General Mohamed Abdi Ilig told FESOJ that there have been two cases against their TV filed by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Aviation after the TV interviewed armed opposition groups in some parts of Somaliland and reported disruptions faced by foreign commercial airlines .
"As a managing team, we oppose all forms of harassment, detention and threats against journalists and media workers, we will continue to serve our community for the access to reliable information, maintain impartiality, perseverance and achieving the right to freedom of expression in Somaliland" Mohamed Abdi Ilig Director of HCTV said.
FESOJ condemns the decision by the Somaliland authorities to close Horn Cable television HQ and calls for immediate lift of the TV ban and also stop intimidations, harassments, arbitrary detentions against the journalists and the media at large and respect the media freedoms and the freedom of expression which has been guaranteed under both the Somaliland constitution and the Somaliland Press Law.
"The decision to suspend Horn Cable TV in Somaliland is clear violation against the press freedom and freedom of expression and shows how the authorities in Somaliland are still committed to silence the independent media." FESOJ Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu said, "We call on the authorities in Somaliland to respect the media freedoms and freedom of expression which is key to a more stable and democratic society." Moalimuu added.
Somaliland has apparently increased the arrests and the ban of the media in the last six months of 2019, and is of great concern.
FESOJ has been hosting three journalists who fled from Somaliland and reached to Mogadishu after encountering severe pressure from Somali government officials.