News / Africa

Groups Blast Arrests of Somali Journalists

Bashir Nur Gedi, head of Shabelle Media Network, the second biggest in the Horn of Africa nation, attends a meeting moments before he was killed in his home in southern Mogadishu, Somalia (File Photo)
Bashir Nur Gedi, head of Shabelle Media Network, the second biggest in the Horn of Africa nation, attends a meeting moments before he was killed in his home in southern Mogadishu, Somalia (File Photo)
Michael Onyiego

International and local rights groups are demanding the immediate release of journalists being held by the Somali government.

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government is facing intense criticism after the detention of two journalists from Mogadishu’s Shabelle Media Network.

On Sunday, the National Security Agency arrested Radio Shabelle News Editor Abdi Mohammed Ismail and Director Abdirashid Omar Qasse after summoning them to the agency’s headquarters. While no official reason was given for their arrest, the journalists were detained following a report on Radio Shabelle which stated that President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was unable to visit parts of Mogadishu due to lack of security.

Representatives of the media house slammed the arrest, pointing out that organizations such as the Voice of America had broadcast similar reports.

The Africa head of Reporters Without Borders, Ambroise Pierre, blasted the arrest of Ismail and Qasse as a double blow to Somali journalists.

“The situation in Somalia for the journalists is already appalling because of the insecurity and the Islamist militias being very intolerant towards freedom of expression," said Pierre. "The fact that the TFG is now also being repressive on journalists is extremely worrying. It seems that finally the danger will come from all sides in Somalia for journalists.

The Paris-based organization said late Monday there was evidence that the Shabelle journalists were being denied access to lawyers, family visits and even food.

Efforts led by Somalia’s Information Ministry and members of parliament are reportedly being taken to secure the release of Ismail and Qasse. But according to Pierre the government has demanded an apology from Radio Shabelle as a precondition for their release.

“We are shocked by this behavior. It shows that the government is clearly trying to control what is being said on the TFG," said Pierre. "One should never ask media to apologize when the media just made a report that is true and professional. We think that it is really bad practice to try to bargain the release of two journalists against apologies.”

The Shabelle Media Network is a major media outlet both within Somalia and throughout east Africa. Radio Shabelle has been frequently threatened by Somalia’s Islamist rebels and was awarded the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize in December.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid