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Radio director arrested for broadcasting court ruling

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - NUSOJ condemns the arrest of journalist Hilal Sheik Shuayb, the director of the privately-owned Warsan Radio station in Baidoa, southwestern Somalia.

Hilal Sheik Shuayb was arrested on 25 November 2008 by Transitional Federal Government (TFG) police in Baidoa who were following orders issued by the Bay region governor, Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim. The journalist was accused of airing live the ruling of a Baidoa court judge who sentenced a TFG soldier to be executed after the soldier was found to be guilty of killing a police commander. Following the ruling, the soldier was executed on the afternoon of 25 November.

"The Transitional Government and its regional administration in Baidoa are working to paralyse the independence and professionalism of journalists by forbidding them to report on current affairs, including important issues like the court case in question," said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman. "Hilal Sheik did not cross his professional line of duty and he must gain his freedom immediately."

Journalists in Baidoa, the base of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia, have been pressured by the regional administration. The current governor is a former owner of Radio Warsan, the only privately-owned radio station in the Bay region.

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