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Intelligence and Security Agency raids Radio Station, Arrests Two Journalists

This statement was originally published on August 18, 2016.

The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) should immediately release two Radio Shabelle journalists, Ali Ahmed Abdulle and Mohamed Adan Ibrahim, who were arrested in this evening for their journalism work, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said. NISA raided Radio Shabelle today, briefly shuts down the station and took five journalists to NISA regional headquarters for interrogations.

Some minutes after, NISA released three of the five journalists and currently detains Abdulle and Ibrahim at Godka Jilicow detention center. NISA allowed Radio Shabelle resume broadcasting.

Abdulle, head of news of Radio Shabelle, and Ibrahim, reporter of Radio Shabelle, are detained to due news report that Radio Shabelle broadcasted today regarding Al-Shabaab raid of Lafole neighbourhood, according to a Radio Shabelle journalist who does not want to be named in fear of his security.

NUSOJ bemoans the frequent usage of NISA against innocent journalists and independent media, without any legal means, and interrogates if indeed such security agency exists to go after journalists and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed rights of journalists.

“Security Authorities in the Federal Government are abandoning all restraint in their efforts to intimidate and silence the journalists,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Silencing journalists through arrest and intimidation is obnoxious. Security forces must not be used as agents of fear and repression”.

NUSOJ considers this latest arrest of journalists as an act that fits a pattern of Somali security agency arresting journalists whose media work don’t conform to official views or as appeases the authorities. The arrest of the two journalists are clear act of intimidation, has little to do with rule of law and constitutes gross violation of media freedom as enshrined in Somali constitution.

“Since when it has become a crime to report a news worthy accident. Federal Government should immediately release Ali Ahmed Abdulle and Mohamed Adan Ibrahim, and stop hounding journalists for doing their jobs,” declared Osman.

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