SOMALIA: Puntland police storm Horseed Media FM station

Published: August 13, 2010

Abdifatah Jama Mire

Heavily armed police officers stormed into Horseed Media FM radio station in Bosaso and arrested eight journalists, on Friday afternoon.
The deputy director of Horseed Media, Abdifutah Jama Mire, was among the detained journalists.
Police officers armed with AK47’s stormed the radio station around 5:20pm on Friday, they told the radio staff to stop their work and forced the FM station off air.
Eight of the journalists working for the FM station were taken to Bosaso central Police headquarter, according to the journalists they were interrogated by several high ranking police officers including the regional Police chief Col.Osman Afdalouw.
It is still unclear why the police targeted the popular FM station in Bosaso city, but many believe it might be linked with an interview the station had with the rebellious islamist leader Sheikh Mohamed Attom, earlier on Friday afternoon.
All of the journalists were later released, except the deputy director Mr.Abdifutah Jama, who is still held at the police station.
“….We don’t understand why the Puntland authorities are targeting the media for reporting about the ongoing war between the Puntland forces and rebels led by Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom in the mountains district of Galgala….” Says Mahad Musse, the executive director of Horseed Media.
Mr.Musse added while the State usually welcomes when the media broadcasts official government statements, on the other hand the Puntland government is punishing local media when they interview the opposition, this is totally against the freedom of the press in Puntland.
Earlier this week, Mr. Nuh Muse Birjeb, a journalist working with the Voice of America (VOA) Somali Service, was banned from working in the region by the Puntland government.
Hussein Farah
Horseed Media

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