Garowe, March 5, 2017: Media Association of Puntland – MAP – strongly condemns the unprecedented decision of the Puntland Ministry of Information to take Universal TV off the air with claims that the UK based TV’s programs created security concerns and unprofessional conduct, MAP demands that the order be immediately rescinded.
The MAP, while expressing deep concern at the government’s decision, said that imposing a ban is a violation of the freedom of expression. MAP chair in a statement said;
“We demand from the Puntland Authorities to retreat from the unlawful decision in suspending the Universal TV from Puntland state of Somalia, we also urge the Puntland Ministry of information to follow the law to the latter and exercise its powers in a cautious and judicious manner, Said Faisal Khalif Barre
The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) is concerned on the government’s current crackdown on media that truly undermines the revised Puntland media bill which is yet to be signed into law. The decision to take the channel off the air is a direct violation of the freedom of the media and is unacceptable.
‘’If Government had issues with Universal TV coverage, there are provisions available. But ban is a deliberate stab on Puntland constitution, revised Puntland Media bill and the fundamental Human right of freedom of expression, Said MAP chair.
The Committee to Project Journalists’ 2016 Global Impunity Index which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free has for the second-straight year ranked Somalia as the worst country in the index. 57 journalists were killed in Somalia since 1992, 39 out of the 59 were killed in the last 8 years. In 2016 alone, two journalists have been killed.