Ethiopian authorities suspended 15 overseas media shops working within the kingdom’s Somali regional state for allegedly working with out a license.
However, the regional journalists’ affiliation says the measures had been taken in retaliation for media reviews that uncovered corruption and the extreme drought the area is dealing with.
The suspension comes days after the federal authorities’s principal media regulatory physique, the Ethiopia Media Authority (EMA) handed a directive ordering regional authorities to ban the media homes.
Also Read: Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta Calls Urgent Meeting to Review Security Situation in Eastern DRC
In a letter written on January 27, the Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) has urged the Somali Region Communications Bureau to take motion in cooperation with regulation enforcement organizations on persons working for overseas media with out media licenses.
The letter states that the company has discovered out in an investigation that there are representatives of the media and journalists working within the regional state with out having licenses from the federal authorities’s media regulatory physique.
However, the letter didn’t reveal the names of the alleged mediums.
Following the letter, on Saturday, January 28, the Regional State Communications Bureau issued a declaration ordering 15 media shops to droop operations inside the area.
The listing included BBC Somali, MM TV, Universal TV, Horyaal TV, RTN TV, Universal TV, Five TV, Sahan TV, Horn Cable TV and Goobjoog TV, amongst others.
An official on the regional company stated the media shops are suspended due to the fact they don’t have correct media accreditation
However, Abdulrazaq Hassan, president of the Somali Region Journalists’ Association, stated the regional authorities performed an vital function in banning these media making use of the licensing concern as a pretext.
“Licensing is not the only reason for shutting down the media, these media covered corruption, conflicts and drought-related issues that expose the ruling party,” Abdulrazaq instructed a nearby media outlet, Addis Standard.
“We have asked the regional government’s communications agency to renew our licenses, which are usually renewed every six months,” Abdulrazaq stated, added accusing the regional authorities of intent on silencing crucial overseas media within the area.
Repeated tries by The East African to get touch upon the matter from the Somali Regional Communications Office had been unsuccessful.
Since the clash in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray area broke out in November 2020, press freedom in Ethiopia has significantly deteriorated.
Over the previous two years, Ethiopian authorities have arrested dozens of journalists along with NMG correspondents in Ethiopia who reported on the clash.
CPJ, a New York-based press freedom group, reviews that at the least 63 journalists and media people have been arrested in Ethiopia within the previous two years.