The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has called on Somalia to reopen a private radio station. According to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), an IFJ affiliate, authorities in Adado town of Galgudud region in central Somalia have decided on Saturday 2 March, to shut down the private Al-Ihsan Radio station.
Mohamed Adan, head of the Hibin and Heb administration signed a letter ordering the radio station to shutdown and asked armed men in a four-wheel drive to deliver the letter. It blamed the radio station for compromising the peace in the town and spreading inaccurate and unacceptable information which is contrary to the policy of the administration. The management of the radio station denied all these accusations.
“This is a blatant press freedom violation. We call on authorities in Somalia to reopen the radio station. In this particular context Somalia needs free and fair media able to play a positive role in the country’s reconstruction and reconciliation,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.
The management of the radio station the first to be established in Adado since two years said it has been broadcasting programs on religion, piracy, alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds.
“We condemn this disruptive and inexplicable act which is nothing short of an attempt to suppress media freedom in the region and demand that Al-Ihsan Radio be allowed to resume broadcasting immediately,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
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The IFJ represents over 600.000 journalists in 134 countries