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Puntland Information Ministry issues new directives for independent media

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The information ministry of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland has given directives to independent media houses operating in Puntland.

The ministry issued a statement signed by its director, Yasin Adan Roble, indicating that all independent radio and television stations and websites in Puntland will now be under the ministry's authority. The ministry said it would hold a meeting with independent media outlets where every outlet would be required to list the programmes it aired.

The statement, which comprises 13 articles, stipulates that media houses will be allowed to broadcast only the religious programmes of Puntland clerics, and bans programming from organizations or individuals not authorised by the information ministry.

The directives further state that independent media may not air commercials that are "against the culture of the Puntland people" and prohibits media houses from broadcasting news which is not based on "facts".

The ministry also called on Puntland media houses to participate in building the country, and warned them against taking part in political meetings "against the existence of Puntland".

The statement stressed that coverage of the Puntland government should be prioritised over all other news stories.

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