EAJA condemns raid on Radio Stations , arrest of Journalists in Mogadishu
Eastern Africa Journalists Association has today criticized security agencies in Somalia for raiding and closing two radio stations and arresting at least eight journalists.
According to EAJA’s local affiliate, National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), heavily- armed security officers today, Friday, raided and shut down both Radio Shabelle and Sky FM, which are owned by Shabelle Media Network, and arrested at least eight journalists, including Shabelle Chairman Abdimalik Yusuf Mohamud.
The two radio stations had reportedly aired news reports on Thursday night about an interview President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud gave to a US-based PBS television. Some government officials accused Radio Shabelle of negatively depicting President Mohamud’s visit in Washington to attend US-Africa leaders’ summit.
“We strongly condemn the raid and shutting down of the two radio stations and the arrests of the journalists. This incident is a clear violation of media freedom and reflects a desire by the government to intimidate the media and journalists, which is unacceptable,” said EAJA Secretary General Alexandre Niyungeko.
He said EAJA stood in solidarity with its local affiliate and the journalists in Somalia in demanding a stop to any acts that violated press freedom and interfered with freedom of expression.
“We call on the government to immediately release the journalists and allow the radio stations to resume operations without any conditions,” Niyungeko added.
Over the last two years, Shabelle Media Network has been targeted by the government over its reporting. In October last year, it was forcefully removed from its premises in Mogadishu and a month later in November, two of its journalists were arrested over alleged rape story.
Source: Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA)