Media watchdog demands release of detained journalist

[Somalia] Interim President Yusuf Ahmed (centre) with aides in Jowhar, 1 August 2005.
President Yusuf Ahmed (centre) with aides. (Hilaire Avril)

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded the unconditional release of a radio journalist arrested on Wednesday in the Somali town of Jowhar, the temporary seat of Somalia's transitional federal government.

"It's outrageous that Abdullahi Kulmiye Adow has been detained for doing his job," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said in a statement. "We call on the Jowhar and transitional federal authorities to ensure that he is released immediately and unconditionally."

Adow, who works for the Mogadishu-based independent HornAfrik radio station, was reportedly arrested in Jowhar, 90 km north of Mogadishu, "at 1:00 am [2200 GMT] on Wednesday" by militiamen, Hassan Ade of HornAfrik told IRIN on Thursday.

The authorities in Jowhar have not disclosed reasons for the arrest and Adow has not been charged "as of now" said Ade.

Adow had on Tuesday filed a report that alleged that senior officials of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) where being housed in a school and that parents had demanded that the officials vacate the school before the beginning of a new term, according to Ade.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Prime Minister Ali Muhammad Gedi have made Jowhar the temporary seat of the interim government arguing that the Somali capital, Mogadishu, lacked security.

An estimated 100 members of the transitional parliament and other government officials - led by the speaker of parliament Sharif Hassan Shaykh Aden - have, however, chosen to work from Mogadishu, a decision that has split the transition government.

In May, another HornAfrik journalist, Abdallah Nurdin Ahmad, was shot and wounded by an unknown gunman.

Somalia has had no effective central government since the overthrow of Muhammed Siyad Barre's administration in 1991. Faction leaders and their militias took advantage of the ensuing anarchy to curve the country into fiefdoms over which they frequently fought.

The transitional government was set up in neighbouring Kenya in October 2004 following peace talks between various Somali clans and factions. The peace process was sponsored by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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