Mogadishu 24 June, 2016
Somali Media Association (SOMA) strongly condemns the raid and shutting down of Daljir radio stations in Garowe, Bosaso and Galkaio in Puntland State of Somalia.
The reason of the closure is unknown but according to the director of Radio Daljir Ahmed Mohamed Tallman, the shutdown was occasioned after the radio had an interview with the former governor of Bari region Abdisamad Gallan, a well-known politician and one of the major critics of Punland government.
Mr. Ahmed told the media that Puntland Information Minister Mohamoud Hassan Soadde called radio Daljir newsroom after the interview of Mr. Gallan was aired and threatened Radio Daljir that the Puntland State government will use excessive power to curb the freedom of media houses and journalists in Puntland.
It was then when Heavily- armed police officers raided and shut down the three different branches of radio Daljir in Garowe, Galkaio and Bosaso. The raid occurred Thursday
These incidents are clear violations of media freedom and reflect a desire by the Puntland government to intimidate the media and journalists.
The government of Puntland through its security agents has been violating the media freedom in total disregard of the Constitution of Puntland that provides for freedom of expression and the media. This constitutional provision obliges all levels of government to guarantee such values of free press and speech which are important for growth of healthy democracy.
SOMA always believes strong press is one of the pillars of rule of law abiding government. The government’s agents willfully intimidating, harassing and closing down outspoken media institutions, is a misguided conception of protecting national interests. SOMA condemns such act as an open display of dictatorship and fear for the public scrutiny relevant for building rule of law, democracy and good governance.
SOMA encourages Radio Daljir and other SOMA members to remain strong and independent in serving the public regardless of numerous intimidation and harassment by the security agents.
SOMA calls on the Government of Puntland to immediately allow Radio Daljir to resume operations without any precondition.
SOMA appeals to the Federal Government and State Governments of Somalia to adhere to national and international obligations in observing freedom of press and expression as enshrined in the Constitution and other international human rights instruments to which Somalia is a part by virtue of its United Nations membership.
Radio Daljir is member of Somali Media Association (SOMA) which brings together 38 radio stations in Somalia.