FESOJ Strongly Condemns the Closure of Radio Hiranweyn and Detention of its Journalists

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Mogadishu, Saturday, January 22, 2022, _ Troops under the command of Hirshabelle State Vice President Ahmed Hagar Dabageed has on Friday, January 21 2022, attacked the Radio Hiranweyn in Beledweyne city.

The armed forces have stormed the radio headquarters in Beledweyne city, shut down the station, which was on air at the time, and detained all the media staff.

The forces that attacked the Hiranweyn media centre have claimed that the vice president’s office has issued the order.

The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) strongly condemns the closure of Hiiraanweyn Radio in Beledweyne and the arrest of seven of its journalists.

The arrests came after the radio broadcast a Press Conference held by supporters of General Hud, who is against the Hirshabelle administration.

This dreadful action comes when the National Information Day – January 21, 2022, was celebrated annually in Somalia; it was supposed to encourage access to information to the public. Instead, the media and journalists in Beledweyne city has been subjected to detention and threats.

“The young journalists who were on duty were threatened.” The vice president has directly informed us about transmitting only his voice and disregarding the statement of the opposition. Therefore, we have refused to take bribe” Mohamed Osman Makaran, Director of Radio Hiranweyn, pointed out.

“We do not want to take bribes; we broadcast every Somali person freedom of expression.” Mohamed Osman Makaraan, Director of Radio Hiranweyn and the Secretary-General of the Somali Media Association (SOMA), consisting of more than 32 media stations operational across Somalia, stated.

Furthermore, Farah Omar Nur, Secretary-General of the Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ), said it is unfortunate that In Beledweyne, which was one of the towns where FESOJ have recently conducted training on freedom of expression and the press; the Hirshabelle authorities are obstructing freedom of expression and the media.

There is no reason to detain a journalist who attended the press conference and accurately disseminated information to the public. The Somali Constitution gives everyone the right to freedom of opinion, and the press has the right to freedom of expression.

Although the journalists were released last Friday night without being charged, that means the authorities have taken the law into their own hands. In that case, FESOJ reiterates that Hirshabelle State leaders should stop targeting the media and journalists; and adhere to the constitutional norms

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