The enforcement agencies have shut down a local radio station in Jowhar town in Middle Shabelle region.
The authorities of the station, Mohamed Yasin Mahdi, a new editor at City FM, the police did not have any written document justifying the radio closure.
Around 01:30p.m on Thursday 19 December, armed police officers again raided City FM and ordered closure of the station and took over the station’s keys while detaining the seven journalists on duty.
The police also detained the staff including Mahad Muse Mahdi, Sakariye Osman Abdi, Hussein Abdi Farey, Mohamud Ali Omar, Abdinasir Ahmed, Abukar Ali Adow and Nur Mohamed Moalim thought they were later released from police detention without charge.
“The police instructed us not to return to the radio station and instead go home,” one of the detained journalists said.
A senior police officer in Jowhar said a letter of summoning was issued to the director of City FM, Abdishakur Abdullahi Ahmed (known as Shaasha) on Wednesday 18 December by Hirshabelle State Attorney General, Abdullahi Mohamud Ga’al following news report and interviews alleging African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Hirshabelle State President, Mohamed Abdi Ware over illegally grabbing farm land from locals.
Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Somalia based media watchdog, has condemned the closure of the station, terming the move as the unlawful closure of the station.
“We condemn the illegal closure of City FM radio in Jowhar by Hirshabelle authorities and the brief arrest of seven journalists who were on duty,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said “Closing a media station for broadcasting critical news shows how the oppressive the regime is. We demand the authorities to unconditionally allow City FM to resume broadcasting.”