Somalia orders ban on media

Somalia's transitional government has ordered the closure of three radio stations accusing them of backing "terrorists and their actions", one of the broadcasters hit by the banning order, Shabelle Media Network, reported Thursday on its Internet site.

Somalia orders ban on media

Somalia's transitional government has ordered the closure of three radio stations accusing them of backing "terrorists and their actions", one of the broadcasters hit by the banning order, Shabelle Media Network, reported Thursday on its Internet site.

The government decree was also issued to Radio Horn Afrik and IQK (The Holy Quran Media)."They have breached the rules of the free media, confused the Somali population and opposed the existence of the Somalia government," said the decree according to Radio Shabelle's internet site.

The three broadcasters affected by the banning order issued late Wednesday have been ordered to shut down twice in the past as the tranistional government accused them of reporting falsely on operations conducted by pro-government fighters and their Ethiopian military in Mogadishu.

Horn Afrik and IQK went off air soon after they received the decree. Shabelle Media Network followed suit a few hours later, its website said.

Another broadcaster, Radio Warsan based in the southwestern town of Baidoa was closed two days ago after it received a government order to do so.

According to Radio Shabelle, the US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, who is also responsible for Somalia, expressed Washington's concern about the closure of the three radio stations in the capital.

“The freedom of the media is absolutely essential in Somalia and everywhere else in the world and it is important that the Somali media be allowed to inform the Somali people of developments in an objective way,” Shabelle quoted Ranneberger as saying.

“We are very concerned about the closure of these radio stations and we are pursuing that,” he added.

Last Mod: 07 Haziran 2007, 12:16
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