Garowe, November 03, 2021
The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) vociferously rebukes State authorities decision in denying Daljir radio to hold a public interest event that would educate citizens on the status of the ongoing national elections process.
Among the forum’s panelist was Mohamed Hassan Irro, the chairman of the Federal Electoral Implementation Team (FEIT) who is currently in Garowe on visit and recently met with the government officials including President Deni. As per the event’s setting, FEIT’s chair would also give feedback to the questions from the audience.
However, moments before the forum was launched, Mohamed Abdirahman Dhabancad – Puntland’s Minister of Interior, Federalism and Democratization showed up at the event in the evening of Monday at the Martisoor hotel in Garowe and instructed the Daljir team to halt the occasion with no explained reasons.
Notably, among the participants who accepted to participate in the forum were Puntland government officials including currently serving cabinet Ministers and members of the state parliament – which confirms that the forum had no hidden agenda against any political group/party but rather an event that could keep the public abreast on the national elections.
‘’So repulsive and disturbing to learn that authorities could stop a forum of this kind aimed at enlightening the public on important issues regarding national politics, and that the Minister could just go-by and abruptly halt the launch of the event with-no further explanation is mind-blowing….
This is a calamity to the constitutionally protected right on freedom expression by demeaning the media’s independence and denying the public to understand the complexities surrounding the national elections…
Our message to the government is allow us the media to do our work and stop attacking us for simply performing our duties in informing the public on issues affecting their lives’’ Said Mohamed Dahir MAP chair.
Since December 2020, the cases recorded on occurrences by Puntland government against local journalist/media were related to news items featuring stories related to national elections.