The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Somali Transitional Federal Government to reopen three private radio stations it closed in the last two days without any explanation.
“Our Somali colleagues already work in a very difficult situation and it’s appalling that the government is making their daily struggle even more difficult,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa office. “We condemn this serious press freedom violation and we call on the Somali government to reopen all the radio stations immediately and unconditionally.”
Security forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) shut this morning two Mogadishu-based radio stations Radio Simba and Radio Benadir. According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) no reason was given for the closure to the directors and staff of the stations. The directors were taken to the national security headquarter where they were told that the order was “coming from the senior officers” of the TFG government.
Radio Benadir management however told NUSOJ that they were invited to a meeting on Wednesday with the mayor and government officials.
On Monday, another radio of the Somali capital city, Shabelle Radio, went off air after government forces briefly detained Shabelle acting manager Jafar Kukay and news chief Abdi Rahman Al-Adala. They were ordered to stop broadcasting without any explanation.
“Somalia became the worst country for press freedom and security of journalists in Africa and the second most dangerous place for journalists in the world after Iraq, because political groups do not like the Somali media's role of disseminating useful, impartial and objective information to the public,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries worldwide