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Somalia26 June 2008

Puntland authorities free radio station director after holding him overnight

Abdulkadir Mohammed Nunow, the director of Bosaso-based Radio Horseed and a correspondent of Voice of America’s Somali-language service, was released at 11 a.m. today after being held overnight without being charged, Reporters Without Borders has learned from Omar Faruk Osman, the secretary-general of partner organisation in Somalia, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).


26.06 - Puntland radio station director arrested over report about foreign tourists held hostage

Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities of the semi-autonomous northeastern territory of Puntland to release Abdulkadir Mohammed Nunow, the director of privately-owned Radio Horseed, who was arrested yesterday in Bosaso after broadcasting a report about foreign tourists held hostage in a region claimed by both Puntland and the neighbouring breakaway state of Somaliland.

“This latest arbitrary arrest of a journalist in Puntland has heavy political connotations,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Puntland’s authorities do not tolerate interviews with their rivals, not even to obtain information about the territories their rivals control. Nunow is the victim of the local government’s propaganda strategy and refusal to recognise reality. His arrest is designed solely to intimidate and send a threatening signal to his fellow journalists.”

Nunow, who is also Bosaso correspondent of the Somali-language service of the US government’s Voice of America radio station, was arrested in his office at 2:10 p.m. yesterday by soldiers acting on the orders of Abdullahi Said Samatar, Puntland’s security minister.

The Reporters Without Borders partner organisation in Somalia, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said his arrest was prompted by a report on 23 June about a group of western tourists who were kidnapped off Puntland’s northern coast by pirates. It included an interview with a Somaliland military commander in Las Qoray, a disputed coastal town in Sanag, the region where the hostages are apparently being held. Somaliland’s army currently controls the town.



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