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Radio station seized in Mogadishu

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - On 23 August 2010, the Al-Shabaab extremist Islamic group officially took over Radio Holy Quran (IQK), a privately-owned radio station in north Mogadishu, after delivering a letter in which they explained their actions to the management of the media house.

"All the operations of Radio Holy Quran have effectively been taken over by the administration of the Al-Shabaab movement, beginning from today, the 13th Ramadan of 1431 Hijri, which matches 23 August 2010," the Al-Shabaab letter said in part.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns this action as a "blatant crime" of taking ownership and control of the radio station by force and putting the owners and the journalists in a state of panic and fear. Al-Shabaab is permanently depriving the Somali people of independent and unbiased information by forcefully taking over privately-owned media ventures.

NUSOJ believes that in the hands of the extremists, the radio station has lost its impartiality, independence and professionalism, and fears that the station will be used as a medium to spread hate messages and to propel the campaign for violence and bloodshed against the Somali people.

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