SOMALIA: NUSOJ Monthly Review on Monitoring Press Freedom Violations in Somalia
Mogadishu (RBC) The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is alarmed by the arrest of two journalists in Mogadishu on Sunday and Monday and the continued shutdown of Horseed Radio in Boosaaso of the Northeastern region of Bari, in the semi-automatous regions of Puntland and journalists briefly detained in Somaliland.
Security forces of the Somali government have arrested Jama Ukun, the Kismayo correspondent of the Kulmiye Radio, at the Radio premises, across from the National Theatre in Mogadishu, on Sunday afternoon 14 October, 2012 and still remains in custody. Jama recently arrived in Mogadishu from Kismayo, after the Shabab were pushed back from the town.
In a separate incident, security forces arrested and reportedly beaten Qadar Mohamoud Hareed, Head of News programs at the premises of the Radio at KM5 area of Wadajir district in Mogadishu around 5:00pm. It
is not yet clear the reasons behind their arrest. But journalists cited that their colleague, Qadar was arrested on suspicion of Shabab affiliation.
“We don’t know the reasons behind his arrest, his personality was good for the time he was working with us.” Bashiir Mohamed Abdulkadir, deputy Director of Goobjoob radio said, “Only the alternative thing, he was arrested could be his stay in Kismayo under Shabab administration, where he used to report for Ergo Radio and Radio voice of Peace.”
Both journalists are believed to have been allegedly detained in suspicion to have affiliations with the Shabab militant group, which proved its allegiance Al-Qaeda. Sources from the Somali National Security Agency confirmed to NUSOJ that investigations are underway.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the National Security Agency to speed up the investigations and give either their freedoms back or send them to a fair court.
“We are concerned about the arrests of the two journalists in two consecutive days in Mogadishu, while We acknowledge the heavy task the NSA is doing in making Mogadishu peaceful.” Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary
General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said, “We call for the release of the journalists, if they are found innocent and if they are found guilty, we demand a fair court for their cases.”
In Somaliland, Police in the town of Laas-Anod briefly detained Mohamed Shaqale Anshur, correspondent of Somalisat Television, Ahmed Saakin of Universal Television and Abdikarin Olol of Somali Chanel
Television in the early of hours of Friday morning on 12 October, 2012. Ahmed Saakin and Abdikarin Olol were released after hours in detention and Mohamed Shaqale was released the next morning of 13 October, 2012. The journalists were accused of airing programs in support of the prime Minister of Somalia, Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid following his appointment.
In Puntland, the The Police in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland shut down an independent and privately owned radio Station in the town of Boosaaso on Saturday 06 October, 2012.
The radio station, Horseed FM Radio was shut down following orders on a decree signed by the police Col. Bile Faarah Ali in the Saturday morning 06 October, 2012. The Puntland Ministry of information confirmed the shutdown in a press conference held in Garowe on the next day. The Puntland government accused the radio station for violating the security of Puntland.
But the director of the Radio, Abdiqani Hassan Dhagjar argued that they did not broadcast any information contrary to the Puntland security and do no know exactly why their radio station was attacked and closed down.
The President of the Supreme Council of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Burhan Ahmed Dahir met several times officials from the Puntland Ministry of Information and promised that the radio
station will be allowed to resume operations shortly, but it seems it is taking longer than expected. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the Puntland administration to allow the Radio station to resume its operations.