Three More Journalists detained in Central Somalia including female Radio Director, Making the Number of Journalists detained to six in 24 hours, as crack down against the Media continues

Mogadishu, August 2, 2015

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is outrageous the continued media crack down by the Ahlu sunna Waljama in the central Somalia town of Dhusamarebcondemned following the detention of three more journalists on Saturday and Sunday making the number of journalists in custody to six, while others went into hiding, the latest in a string of violence against the journalists in Central Somalia.

Militias loyal to Ahlu Sunna Waljama detained the director of radio Codka Bartamaha, Ms. Nafiso Hersi Oogle, a privately owned radio station based in Dhusamareb, on Sunday morning, the latest manhunt against the journalists in the town of Dhusamareb. on Saturday, Abdullahi Farah Roble and Ms Leylo Nor of Radio Codka Bartamaha were sent behind bars.

On Friday, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, Correspondent for the Somali National TV, Abdijamal Moalim Ahmed, correspondent for the privately owned Kalsan TV and Bar-kulan radio and Bashiir Mohamoud Salad, correspondent for Horncable TV, were detained, making the total journalists in custody to six.

The hunt against the journalists follows after the Ahlu Sunna Waljama in Dhusamareb the media and the journalists to register by providing questionnaire forms for the purpose of collecting the personal data from the journalists, which the journalists questioned the security of the information they provide citing privacy issues, which the group responded with mass arrests.

The journalists were hunted from various locations including the premises of Radio Codka Bartamaha in Dhusamareb, their homes and in the town through hunt by the Ahlu Sunna Militias, whereas dozen journalists fled the town, the latest move by the Ahlu Sunna Waljama to curb the media freedoms. The group imposed similar orders last year and early this year in the town of Guricel in Central Somalia, but It become surprise to the journalists when the journalists learned data collected were used against some of the journalists, the administration deemed they were against their rule and later published in their website, according to some of the journalists who spoke with NUSOJ.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the hunt against the journalists in the Central Somalia town of Dhusamareb and calls for unconditional release of all journalists detained and calls for the group to withdrew the so-called registration, which aimed to curb the press freedom and the freedom of expression.

NUSOJ also calls for the Federal Government of Somalia, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) and all concerned local and international stakeholders to intervene the situation.

“We are alarmed by the continued hunt against our colleagues by the Ahlu sunna Waljama and is a worrying trend.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “We condemn the acts of violence and intimidation against the media and the journalists in the region and call for the Dhusamareb administration to withdrew the forced registration and free the journalists and respect the freedom of expression and the media freedoms and the citizens right to know, while allowing the journalists to resume operations without fear or represial”

“Ahlu Sunna should create a friendly and safe environment for the media professionals, contrary to the current crack down as the Media plays key role in functioning democratic society,.” Mr. Ibrahim added.

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.

The group has been unpleasant over the media coverage in the areas under their control as a conference of forming Galmudug administration was underway in the neighboring town of Adado and plan to oppress the media in order for them to become their puppets and prevent any information to the public, other than the news that’s favoring them, which could possibly lead to a total media blackout.

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