Abdirahman Mohammed Hiudeyfi, the manager of privately-owned Radio Somaliweyn, was released on 27 January, after being held for 14 days. But Radio Somaliweyn reporter Bashir Mohammed Abdulkadir, who was arrested with Hiudeyfi on 13 January by the National Security Agency, is still being held.
A local journalist said the authorities were angry with Abdulkadir because he went to the Eritrean capital of Asmara to cover the creation of an opposition political movement formed by members of the Islamic courts and former parliamentarians.
Also still being held is Mohammed Shidane Daban, a journalist with privately-owned Radio Banadir, who was arrested at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde international airport on 4 January.
14.01.08 - Two Radio Somaliweyn journalists arrested in Mogadishu
Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Abdirahman Mohamed Hudeyfi, the manager of privately-owned Somaliweyn Radio, and Bashir Mohammed Abdulkadir, one of his journalists, who were arrested by government security forces yesterday in Mogadishu.
“The civilian government’s indifference about the safety and freedom of Somali journalists is astounding,” the press freedom organisation said. “The authorities not only refuse to protect them from targeted murders but also continue to let the security forces carry out arbitrary arrests without any explanation. The international community should ask the government to explain its abdication of responsibility in the face of repeated press freedom violations.”
A unit from the transitional federal government’s National Security Agency stormed into the studios of Radio Somaliweyn yesterday and arrested Abdulkadir. After several hours went by without hearing from his employee, Hudeyfi phoned the unit’s commander. As a result, he was then summoned to NSA headquarters where he was also arrested.
Their arrests bring the number of journalists currently held in Somalia to three. Mohammed Shidane Daban was arrested at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde international airport on 4 January as he was about to leave the country. Idle Moallim, a freelance reporter who often works for Somaliweyn’s website, was released on 12 January after being arrested in Bossasso, in the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland, on 5 January. No official explanation was ever given for his arrest.