NUSOJ Condemns Closures of Two Independent Radio Stations in Central Somalia

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly condemns the closures of the 2 independent radio stations in Central Somalia towns of Guri’el and Dhusamareb by Ahlu Sunna Waljama on Friday morning 21 August, 2015, the latest in a string of violence against the media and its professionals in Somalia.

Militias loyal to Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca in Guri’el of Central Somalia raided the premises of Radio Galgaduud and StarFM radio forcing both radio station to go off air, meanwhile the Radio Galgaduud studios in Dhusamareb was also shutdown respectively on Friday 21 August, 2015, according to the radio managers and journalists who spoke with NUSOJ.

“We were called for meeting on Friday morning and were informed to shutdown the radio stations, Radio Galgaduud and Starfm, without any further explanation.” Abdifatah Hassan Farah, Directror of Radio Galgaduud who spoke NUSOJ via phone from Guri’el said, “around 11:30am, armed militias went to the radio stations and forced the radio stations to shutdown.”

Whereas, militias loyal to Ahlu Sunna Waljama in Dhusamareb shutdown the studios of the Radio Galgaduud on Friday, according to Abdijamal Moalim, a Universal TV reporter in Dhusamareb.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the systematic acts of violence against the media and Journalists in central Somalia towns of Guri’el and Dhusamareb by Ahlu Sunna Waljama aimed at eradicating the independent media from the airwaves and call for Ahlu Sunna Waljama to respect the media freedoms and create friendly environment for the journalists to operate.

“We condemn by the continued shutdown of independent radio stations in areas controlled by Ahlu Sunna Waljama in central Somalia” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “Its unacceptable that all independent radio stations are closed and call for Ahlu Sunna to unconditionally allow the radio stations to resume operations.”

“We are also alarmed by the systematic intimidation and acts of censorship against the independent media and professionals in the region.” Mr. Ibrahim added.

The group recently launched a radio station called “Radio Bulsho”, which promotes their own propaganda to the airwaves and has become the sole radio station currently in operation in Guri’el.

On August 3, 2015, Ahlu Sunna Waljama in Dhusamareb closed down Radio “Codka Bartamaha” and briefly arrested its director and five other journalists. The six journalists were all released but the radio station remains closed.

On May 18, 2015, the Ahlu Sunna administration in the town of Guriel in Central Somalia raided the premises of Radio Galgaduud in Guricel and closed its doors and briefly arrested the stations deputy director Abdulkadir Gure Barre after the radio station refused to comply draconian orders imposed by the group. Radio Galgaduud was allowed to resume operation after more than a week the radio was off air. Meanwhile the administration detained Osman Mohamed Adan, correspondent of the Somali National Television (SNTV) based in Guriel, for 24 hours and and ordered his immediate deportation.