As Somalia’s new president tours Southwest state, its police attack local radio, beat and detain journalists

|

Mogadishu (Onkod Radio) — Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) strongly condemn the violent attack by the Southwest state police on Radio Barawe, a local minority community rights radio in Barawe on Wednesday night.

The attack comes amid president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s first visit to Southwest state following his election victory on 15 May.

Around 6:15pm local time on Wednesday, five armed police officers raided Radio Barawe and violently detained journalist Osman Aweys Bahar, who also covers for Universal TV, and radio founder Fuad Shoble. Both were initially forced to walk to the beach on gun point, however, after resistance they were transferred to the police station where they were held. Uniformed officers were seen inside the radio premise with at least one officer pointing his gun at journalist Osman Bahar and threatening to shoot, according a video recording obtained by SJS and SOMA. According to colleagues, journalist Bahar sustained hand injury resulting from police beating.

Radio Barawe journalist, Osman Aweys Bahar. | PHOTO/SJS/FILE.
Radio Barawe journalist, Osman Aweys Bahar. | PHOTO/SJS/FILE.

The raid and the detention follows an order of arrest issued by Lower Shabelle court on Wednesday over journalist Bahar’s coverage about the growing rift within Barawe district council and the district commissioner. Earlier, journalist Bahar told SJS and SOMA that the district commissioner, Liban Abukar Bafo and police commissioner, Abduqadir Adan Mohamed had threatened to detain him.

SJS and SOMA condemn the violent attack on Radio Barawe and the detention of its staff. We call for immediate action against the police officers who conducted this raid. We also demand the freedom of journalist Osman Aweys Bahar and radio founder Fuad Shoble. Police should also return equipment taken from the radio.

“We condemn this violent attack by Southwest state police officers against Radio Barawe and the detention Osman Aweys Bahar and radio founder Fuad Shoble,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary-General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said “We demand for the immediate and unconditional freedom of the two colleagues detained. Police officers should not act above the law. They should be held accountable for their violent actions.”

“We are very sad that the attack on Radio Barawe and the detention of its two staff members took place when Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is paying his first visit to this federal member state. We condemn the police violent raid and we demand justice. They should be freed immediately,” Mohamed Osman Makaran, the Secretary-General of the Somali Media Association (SOMA) said.

In the past two years, Southwest police raided and shut Radio Barawe twice and even banned the radio’s unique local Baravanese (Chimwiini) dialect programming under what seemed to be a politically motivated order from the South West State officials. Despite Radio Barawe resumed its broadcasting days later, journalists and editors reported that authorities continued to monitor them in an attempt to pressure the radio staff.

Related Articles

News In English

The net-zero impact of World Bank projects in Somalia

The World Bank (WB) is launching the Somali Electricity recovery Project (SERP) which will cost 150M USD and its worth mentioning that the money...

Prominent TV journalist killed, two others injured in Mogadishu bombings

MOGADISHU, Somalia 29 October, 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), the Somali Media Association (SOMA) and the Somali Mechanism for the Safety of Journalists...

Attacks against journalists climb as Somali authorities declare crackdown on press freedom

MOGADISHU, Somalia 27 October, 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) are alarmed by the ongoing crackdown by the...

State TV journalist killed while covering military operation on the outskirts of Mogadishu

Mogadishu (Onkod Radio) — Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) strongly condemns the bomb attack that targeted Somali National Television (SNTV) journalist, Ahmed Mohamed Shakur alongside...

UK announces new support for people facing famine in Horn of Africa

Mogadishu (Onkod Radio) — Speaking at an event on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Horn of Africa at the UN General Assembly in...

Fikradaha

The net-zero impact of World Bank projects in Somalia

The World Bank (WB) is launching the Somali Electricity recovery Project (SERP) which will cost 150M USD and its worth mentioning that the money...

GUURKII AWOOWAYAASHEEN – DOONISTII IYO AQAL-GALKII

Qaybtii 1-aad: Barnaamijka War iyo waaya-arag waxaan maanta ku soo qaadanaynaa sida hablaha loo doono iyo sida aroosyada loo dhiso innaga oo tix raacaynaa...

Dalkeena wuxuu u baahan yahay Ciidan Qaran oo Badbaadiya!

Tani waa farriin ka socota muwaadin Soomaaliyeed oo ay danqeyso xaaladda ay ku sugan yihiin Ciidamada Xoogga Dalka Soomaaliyeed xilli uu dalkeena baahi aad...