Somali Government shut down local radio station and briefly detained two journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the closure on Sunday, June18, 2006 of the local sub-division of the Mogadishu based radio station, Radio Shabelle. Two journalists Mohamed Addawe and Ali Jey were briefly detained during the raid by gunmen who carried orders given by the Minister of Farming and the acting Minister of Interior, Colonel Hassan Mohammed Nur.

“This action was reportedly aroused by the Station's report on Ethiopian military troops who arrived in Baidoa and interviews that the station granted to the opponents of the government” declared an official of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

According to the members of the Islamic Courts, 300 Ethiopian troops crossed into the country on June 17, to protect the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia based in Baidoa. However, Addis Ababa denied these allegations.

On June1, female journalist, Maryan Mohammud who works for Radio Shabelle was violently beaten and banned to exercise her journalistic task in Baidoa.

“We firmly condemn this wave of repression of the media and we urge the Somali government to allow Radio Shabelle to resume transmission in Baidoa immediately and unconditionally” declared Gabriel Baglo Director of IFJ Africa Office.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries