Mogadishu — Somali government forces, who stormed Shabelle headquarters on Saturday, still hold the building and began dismantling and ransacking the equipment of the two radio stations Shabelle and Sky-FM and also Shabelle TV.
It was Saturday noon when hundreds of Somali security stormed Shabelle building, driving a violent speed into the front gate of the gate, tossing it inside then started beating up the journalists and all that happened after a five day long deadline of order eviction by the interior minister ended.
The order of the interior minister, which was based on that the building was public property and is now needed by the government for its use, was a cheap and easy excuse and instead, its objective was to silence Shabelle once for all, said Abdi Malik Yusuf Mohamud, chairman of Shabelle media network.
Shabelle had a legal contract to stay on the building and both the regional and high court refused to look into the matter when Shabelle presented the document.
"There was no court order for our eviction and the government didn't want to listen to any legal argument when we contacted and tried to present the legal agreement we signed with the previous government,, added Mr. Mohamud.
The Somali government didn't contact with Shabelle for the collection of its equipment from the building up to today but instead Somali interior minister and some state journalists came to the besieged building and started moving out all TV and Radio equipment of Shabelle into trucks and took them to undisclosed destinations.
The international community particularly nations, groups and agencies that support the Somali process, which has invested a lot into how Somalia could govern its self, seem to be failing in the protection of free press by simple keeping quiet over the oppressive attack Somali government has unleashed on Shabelle.
"Leaders, who are intolerant to free media, cannot lead Somalia back into law and order so I call on the international community to urge Somali government protect and accept the independent media operate in the country free of intimidation" said Mr. Mohamud.
Mr. Mohamud calls on the government to let Shabelle collect its items from the building and open criminal investigation into items taken out of the building.
"Somali MPs who are friendly to the independent media in Mogadishu went to meet the interior minister for negotiations about how Shabelle could collect its equipment out of the building but he has excused them that he can't meet them, said Mr. Mohamud.
Finally, the Somali government should let Shabelle collect all its equipment from the building and open criminal investigation into the looting of the property of the network both the financial and material assets ransacked in the police storm into Shabelle.
Shabelle Media Network.