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Somaliland: Journalists and Media Owners Take on Ministry of Information

Hargeisa (SD) – A press conference was held today in Hargeisa by journalists and some media owners led by officials of the Somaliland Journalists Association SOLJA has rejected a call from information ministry officials, who have imposed new taxes on independent media.

The members of today’s meeting said that they will not accept any committee set up by the Minister of Information.

SOLJA Legal Adviser Lawyers Mohamud Abdirahman, Mohamed Ahmed Gurrase and Abdifatah Ismail Mursal, who spoke on behalf of the online media, and SOLJA Chairman Mohamud Abdi Jama (Huto), all said the Minister did not have the authority to issue media licenses, only the Attorney General has that power under the Somaliland Press Law No. 27/2004.

“Journalists from different parts of the media today opposed series of decisions by the Ministry of Information issued regarding licensing and restrictions that are unconstitutional and against Somaliland Press Law 27/2004. The statement will be included in a lawsuit filed by SOLJA and the media community in the relevant court. ” said Yahya Hanas the director of the SOLJA.

Independent media outlets, most of whom are united on today’s issue, appear to be embroiled in a new war with information ministry officials representing the government.

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