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Private radio station ordered to shut down for 24 hours by Al-Shabaab forces

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the closure of Mandeeq Radio Station in Baladhawo district of Gedo region.

Al-Shabaab forces controlling south-western regions of Somalia ordered the management of the radio station to shut down the FM station around 7:00 a.m. (local time) on 9 April 2009, according to journalists working at Radio Mandeeq. The management of the station was also instructed to come to the headquarters of Al-Shabaab in Baladhawo where officials ordered that the radio station remain off the air for 24 hours. The officials also ordered that a daily schedule of all radio programmes be handed to them but the station's management has so far refused to do so.

"We denounce the closure of Radio Maandeeq. Cutting off information from the people in Baladhawo constitutes an absolute suppression of media freedom," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "Al-Shabaab must end this act of oppression and allow the radio station to continue its operations without threats and censorship."

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