Puntland Closes Two Television Stations, Media Group Reports

Authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in northern Somalia shut down two private television stations after saying they aired reports that jeopardized national security, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Puntland’s Information Ministry described Universal TV and Somali Channel TV as “peace haters” and ordered their closure on Nov. 1, the New York-based media media monitoring group said in a statement on its website yesterday.

The government should rescind the decision, which is aimed at silencing journalists in a region hit by a string of assassinations and bombings over the past five years, the committee said.

“Accusations of carrying propaganda and undermining national security are clearly a pretext for silencing journalists who may deliver unwelcome news,” Tom Rhodes, an East Africa consultant for the committee, said in the statement.

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