Somalia: Puntland court nullifies ban on Universal TV
GAROWE, Puntland- The first degree court of Nugal region in Puntland state has ruled to nullify the ban imposed by Puntland administration on Universal TV after court hearings, Garowe Online reports.
Last month, Puntland administration has shut-down the office of Universal TV after it has broadcasted an entertainment program criticizing Puntland President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” for his frequent foreign trips.
However, after the hearing procedure of both sides the court has ruled to impose a fine $ 2,000 on Universal TV and immediately left the ban. It also ordered the Ministry of Information to pay compensation totaling $ 25,600 to Universal TV for closing the office for more than a month.
Following the court verdict, the chairman of Media Association of Puntland, Faysal Khalif Bare has welcomed the decision as he was attending the court trials.
This wasn’t the first time that the Ministry of Information has closed-down offices of independent media organizations or radio stations in the pretense of causing instability in the region.
Since taking office in 2014, Puntland administration has stepped up crackdown on media and arrested several local journalists with no charges and trials in the court.