Statements from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
UPDATE: Journalists freed; Radio Station remains closed
15 January 2006
Director Faysal Jama’ Adan, Editor Jamal Suleyman Warsame and a technician of Radio Las Anod were released Saturday evening (14 January 2006) after they were arrested at different times on Saturday morning (14 January). The editor and the technician were arrested on 7 o’clock at the station while the director was arrested on 9 o’clock in the town.
The order to release them was issued by the Regional Security Committee of the Sool region. The committee also confirmed the continuance of the shutting down of the Radio pending all programs of the radio are investigated and the station promises to stand for the common interest of Puntland people.
The workers of the Radio were released without charges.
EARLIER PRESS RELEASE: 14 January 2006
Radio Station closed down, its staff arrested
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is today strongly condemning fresh attack carried out by police forces in Las Anod City of Sool region, which they closed down the only Radio Station in the city and arrested three of its employees.
Radio Las Anod was closed down in the morning of Saturday (14 January 2006) whereas the Radio was on air and the inhabitants felt once the radio off air. Director of the Radio Faysal Jama’ Adan, Editor of the Radio Jamal Suleyman Warsame and a technician of the radio were taken to central police station, and the building of the Radio is occupied by police.
The chief commander of central police station of Las Anod Colonel Ali Qase told the press that he was leading the police forces that closed down the Radio and arrested the staff. “I don’t know the reason of our step but we got the command from the regional administration last night” Colonel Ali added.
Although the reason behind this move is not known accurately, however sources in Las Anod told NUSOJ that the Radio was putting on air in the recent days the views of the people in Las Anod about diverting the children vaccinations program from Las Anod to Garowe, the headquarters of Puntland. The vaccinations against tuberculosis, diphtheria, measles, pertussis and tetanus were supposed to start in Las Anod on Saturday 14 January.
In an interview with Radio Las Anod, the Puntland Minister of Health Abdirahman Said Mahamud stated that health issues cannot be politicized and are totally independent from politics.
Reliable sources in Las Anod told NUSOJ that Regional Security Committee met in the evening of Friday, and advised the governor to take this action.
“On behalf of the National Union we denounce this brutally taken aggression against Radio Las Anod and its Staff” said the NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman. “We ask the Puntland authorities to end the continuance of this violation immediately”.
On 10 December 2005, three Las Anod journalists were beaten by Puntland Police. On 5 May 2005, Shacab weekly newspaper was suspended by the authorities In Puntland.
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