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Three journalists arrested; radio station ordered closed

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) deplores the closure of Jubba Private radio station and the arrest of three journalists working for the station in Baidoa.

On 26 April 2009, the Islamic Administration under Al-Shabaab, which controls the Bay and Bakool regions in south-western Somalia, ordered the closure of the radio station and arrested the station's director, Muktar Mohamed Atosh, editor-in-chief Mohamed Adawe Adan and reporter Mohamed Nur Mohamed while all three were in the studio.

Sheik Hassan Derow, head of security in the Bay and Bakool regions, ordered the closure and the arrest of the journalists for not abiding the orders of the administration, however the orders he referred to were not explained.

"In the past several weeks, journalists in Baidoa have been regularly sent to jail for their work or threatened face-to-face in order to turn them away from their independent reporting," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "We implore the current administration in Baidoa to end this abortive war against the media," Omar Faruk added.

In another case, Al-Shabaab forces arrested Muhyadin Hassan Mohamed, a stringer for Radio Shabelle in the Bay region, at his home on 17 April at approximately 8:00 p.m. (local time). Although he was released after negotiations, the administration ordered the media in Baidoa not to talk about the arrest.

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