Somaliland announces ban on BBC broadcasts

The breakaway region of Somaliland has announced a ban on British Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts.

Somaliland Information Minister Saleban Yusuf Ali Koore told reporters on Tuesday that BBC broadcasts have reduced the identity and dignity of the self-declared independent nation not recognized by Somalia or any other country.

The minister, speaking in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, said that after lengthy discussions, the authorities have decided to ban the BBC on the grounds that the network has lost its neutrality and is acting against Somaliland’s independence.

He said the ban would go into effect immediately.

Koore said the BBC does not recognize Somaliland as a democratic country that has stood its ground for the past 31 years, with multiple presidential and parliamentary elections.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate and breakaway region in northern Somalia that declared independence in 1991 after Somalia descended into civil war.

Attack on journalists

In Somalia, meanwhile, journalists and media houses face new challenges in their daily activities.

On July 18, a reporter and cameraman working for Arlaadi Media, a radio and television station in Mogadishu, were arrested by security forces, according to station manager Ahmed Ali Nuur.

Nuur said the reporter and photographer were attacked, shot with live ammunition, beaten and arrested. Their equipment was taken and some of it destroyed. Nuur said no information was provided on why the men were attacked, but the journalists deserved justice.

Abshir Mohamed Nur Farasa, one of the journalists attacked, said he was reporting on street damage caused by recent rains in Mogadishu when he was beaten at gunpoint by police officers. security. He said he was not told why he and the photographer were attacked. After being beaten, Farasa said, the officers took the cameraman to the police station and destroyed his equipment.

Somali police spokesman Abdifatah Adan Hassan told VOA that police took immediate action after the incident and arrested one of the people who assaulted the journalists. Another is still at large.

Hassan said it is possible that individuals dressed in security force uniforms could create problems in Wadajir district. He said that after the attack he spoke to Arlaadi media and the police commissioner, and that an individual involved was imprisoned in Wadajir.

Somalia is one of the deadliest countries for journalists in the world, with more than 50 media workers killed since 2010. Reporters Without Borders ranks Somalia as the most dangerous country for journalists in Africa.

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