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Journalists arrested in Mogadishu clampdown

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the widespread clampdown by security forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia that has resulted in the arrest and detention of three radio journalists in Mogadishu.

On the evening of 2 December 2011, TFG police in Karan district, in the northern part of Mogadishu, arrested two journalists who work for the privately-owned Radio Banadir radio station. The journalists, Salad Tifow Hassan and Qadar Hussein Ahmed, a programme presenter and a programme producer respectively, were arrested by patrolling police officers who refused to accept their journalist ID cards and accused them of committing a security breach. Both journalists were released on 4 December with no explanation given for the actions against them.

On 30 November, Karan District police arrested journalist Hassan Salad Hassan, also known as Hassan Lucky, a Radio Banadir newscaster, according to the station's managers.

NUSOJ received a disconcerting report that police are investigating whether Hassan has any relations with the Al-Shabaab militant group.

"Radio Banadir journalists must be allowed to carry out their journalistic activities without fear of harassment or unlawful detention. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Hassan Lucky," said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.

Radio Banadir is one of the oldest privately-owned radio stations in Mogadishu. The crackdown follows a wave of intimidation and harassment of NUSOJ leaders by the TFG's Criminal Investigations Department police.

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