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Somaliland TV stations banned from airing, to protect state security

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Government authorities on Wednesday forcefully banned two privately owned television stations, Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV from broadcasting on alleged orders from the Minister of Information’s office, Mohamed Dirie.

It was reported that police officers presented a letter allegedly signed by Dirie accusing them of broadcasting content that endangered national security.

“Beginning at 7:30 a.m. yesterday, police entered the offices of broadcasters Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV in the capital, Hargeisa, and ordered them closed indefinitely, allegedly on orders from the ministry of information,” said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in a statement.

The police instructed the stations to shut down but were not allowed to keep copies of the letter.

“The arbitrary closure of Horyaal 24 TV and Eryal TV without due process sends the message that Somaliland media operates at the whim of government officials,” said Muthoki Mumo, CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa Representative.

“We call on the government to immediately and unconditionally lift these bans and allow the press to work freely.”

Both Dirie and his director general Mukhtar Mohamed Ali were not available for comment.

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