By Yahye Mohamed, Director of Solja
The Somaliland Civil society organizations spearhead by Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) had an insightful advocacy meeting addressing evolving media violations in Somaliland. The civil society’s organizations expressed their stance against arbitrary media suspensions without the respect of due process.
At the end of the crucial meeting, SOLJA chairman Mohamed Abdi Jama released a joint statement which stated as follows:
1.       Called on Somaliland authorities to respect the press freedoms enshrined in Somaliland’s constitution and media law 27/2004
2. Condemned and called for the immediate release of Abdimanaan Yusuf, the owner of Astaan Cable TV who was illegally detained and held for 10 days with no court warrant. SOLJA demanded that family visits and his lawyer to be allowed to see him before being arraigned and given seven-days remand in custody today by the Hargeisa regional court.
3..Called for removal of the police forces occupying Star TV and Universal TV stations, both of which were suspended following a Ministerial decree on 25 and 27 June 2020 respectively.
Civil society Organizations were alarmed by today’s Supreme Court pronouncement over the SOLJA’s complaint letter submitted on 29 June against the administrative suspension imposed Star TV and Universal TV by the Ministry of Information.
The court directive ordered SOLJA’s request to the Ministry of Information on providing further details which is not applicable but have been expecting a meaningful judgment that proves the guilty of either side to restore the operation of the banned televisions or sue them if there are evidence of infringements.