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Somalia10 December 2008

Manager of Baidoa-based radio station freed after four days

Reporters Without Borders has learned that Hilal Sheik Shuayb, the manager of privately-owned Radio Warsan in the southwestern city of Baidoa, was released on 29 November after being held for four days.

Shuayb was arrested on 25 November on the orders of the province’s governor, Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim, after a Baidoa court’s verdict in a soldier’s trial for murder was broadcast live by the station.

27.11 - Call for release of radio director in Baidoa

Reporters Without Borders today voiced its shock at the arrest on 25 November of Hilal Sheik Shuayb, director of privately-owned Radio Warsan based in Baidoa, south-western Somalia.

His arrest, ordered by the provincial governor and former owner of the radio, Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim, appeared to be linked to the radio’s live radio broadcast from the city’s court house of the verdict against a soldier convicted of the murder of a commander, who was sentenced to death and immediately executed.

"The arrest of this journalist is unjustified. Hilal Sheik Shuayb was only doing his job and should be quickly released”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “Somali journalists are already working in dangerous conditions and it is unfortunate that the transitional federal government should make their job even more difficult”.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), partner organisation in the country of Reporters Without Borders, said that journalists based in Baidoa, headquarters of the transitional federal government, regularly suffer severe harassment from the regional authorities.

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