20 October 2007

Somalia: Radio Garowe Closed, Three of Its Journalists Arrested

Mogadishu — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today condemns the closing of Radio Garowe in Puntland, northeastern Somalia, and the subsequent arrest of three of its journalists.

Heavily armed security forces of Puntland Regional State stormed the premises of Radio Garowe, and ordered the management to shutdown the radio around 17 hours local time, according to journalists in Garowe and Garoweonline.

The security forces also arrested three journalists of the radio whose names and titles are: Abdi Farah Jama Mire, Director of the Radio; Isse Abdullahi Mohammed, Editor of the Radio; and Mohammed Dahir Yusuf, a Producer.

The motive behind the closure is not known, but Puntland journalists told NUSOJ that it is all about news report of a member of National Security Agency of Somalia who escaped from the agency and afterwards spoke to the media by criticising the behaviour of security agency in Mogadishu, which Radio Garowe reported.

"We denounce this act of closing Radio Garowe in Puntland" said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "We call upon Puntland authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Radio Garowe journalists and allow the Radio to resume its operations fearlessly".

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