Allvoices – Mohammed Omar Hussein
Heavily armed police personnel from the semiautonomous region of Puntland in eastern Somalia have on Friday afternoon stormed into a famous radio station in the coastal town of Bossaso by the name Horseed Media.
The police personnel have arrested 9 of the journalist who were by then in the building of the radio station performing their regular duties.
Among the 9 journalists who were arrested was Abdifatah Jama Mirre the deputy director of Horseed Media.
“It was out of the blue and we have seen the police personnel right inside the building of the radio station, they compelled us to stop whatever we are doing and instructed us to put our hands on our heads put us in a police van and drove us to the central police headquarters, and above all they have said that the radio station should off air till further notice, I cannot actually guess why they are doing so, but I think that is we had an exclusive interview with Sheikh Mohamed Saciid Atom who is a man engaged in battle against the authority of Puntland, and as a Media we can have interviews with anybody” said Mohmoud Abdi Ibrahim a journalist who works with both Horsed Media in Bossaso and Tusmo radio in Mogadishu.
After the journalists were taken to the central police headquarters they have encountered inquiries from a number of police officers, and among the police officers who have done cross-examination was the provincial police commissioner Col. Osman Afdalouw.
It is nit apparent the journalists were harassed and the radio station silenced, but it can linked with the exclusive interview the radio station has had with the mutinous Islamist commander Sheikh Mohamed Saciid Atom, some 2 hours before the police have stormed the edifice of the radio station.
Apart from Mr. Abdifatah Jama Mirre the deputy director of the radio station the other 8 journalists were later set free.
On the other hand honorable Mahad Musse the executive director of Horseed Media who is at Hague in the Netherlands has strongly criticized the action taken by Puntland police.
“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.
According to the latest research done Somalia is the second place on earth where journalists are killed, intimidated, harassed and tortured after Iraq.