The Human Rights Centre condemns the suspension of local media house, CBA TV by the Somaliland government. According to the order sent to CBA TV, the Ministry of Information, National Guidance, and Culture utilized a non-existent article.
The order uses article 45 of the Media Bill NO: 27/2004. It is a non-existent article, as the whole bill is 32 articles. CBA TV was suspended on 07/09/2022. Contrary to the Ministry’s allegations, the licenses and documentation of CBA TV are up to date, making the government’s decision to ban them unfounded and unlawful.
The closure of CBA TV is a violation of freedom of media guaranteed by the Constitution of Somaliland and international human rights law. The suspension of media houses is concerning to the Centre as two other media houses have been banned in the past two months alone, BBC Somalia and BBC Media Action. The government has taken extreme steps to shut down free media in Somaliland. Freedom of expression and press freedom have come under attack by the government recently and endangers the rights of individuals and press freedom enshrined in the Constitution.
The Human Rights Centre calls on Somaliland government to immediately lift the ban on CBA TV and other media houses, and to stop actions that undermine the work of free media to function freely without fear of intimidation and harassment.
Yasmin Omar H. Mohamoud
Chairperson of the Human Rights Center