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Somaliland closed the BBC Media Action office and arrested employees

HARGEISA (SD) – Somaliland has today completely closed the BBC Media Action Somali office in Hargeisa, authorities also arrested 5 BBC Media Action employees.

The five members of the BBC Media staff who were arrested today include Mohamed Gas, Head of the Somaliland Bureau and Abdilahi Jama, a journalist from the BBC Media Action.

BBC Media Action is an independent organization that produces programs related to awareness of social issues which are broadcasted on Somali radio stations, and does not cover political issues, according to its website.

The arrest and the closure of the BBC Media office and staff follows the government’s recent brazen ban of the BBC Somali service.

An statement issued by the Somaliland Ministry of Information stated that BBC Somali recently canceled the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the BBC Somali service in Hargeisa, sighting political insecurity.

“The head of the BBC Somali Service Muhyiddin Roble, informed us that they have canceled the celebration of the anniversary of the BBC, citing insecurity, which is an insult and propaganda to the peace and stability of the Republic of Somaliland.” Minister Koore’s statement said.

Organizations advocating freedom of the press and democratic values said that the ban is against the country’s constitution and is a set back for democracy in Somaliland.

BBC Media Action has not yet responded to this latest incident in which their office were closed and has their staff arrested.

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