Somali security forces arrest two journalists

MOGADISHU — Somali security forces Sunday arrested two local journalists from an independent radio station in Mogadishu over comments made about visits by the country’s president to frontline areas, sources said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 28 Mar 2011, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:20 PM

Colleagues said Abdirashid Omar Qase, the director of Shabelle radio, and one of his journalists, Abdi Osmail, were arrested after responding to a warrant letter issued last week by Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA).

‘There was a letter from the National Security Agency last week demanding the director and Abdi Osmail show up at NSA headquarters, and today they were arrested after responding to the call,’ said Mohamed Bashir, a colleague.

‘We are not really aware of the reason, and we are trying to establish contacts with government officials to help secure their release,’ he said.

An official in the information ministry who asked to remain anonymous confirmed the arrest and said Shabelle radio broadcast negative propaganda against President Sharif Shaikh Ahmed.

‘These guys at Shabelle tend to propagate negative propaganda against the head of state and it may be the security agency is investigating information they disseminated last week,’ the official said.

Other officials suggested that commentary on Shabelle about Sharif’s visits to frontline areas where his forces are fighting the Islamist rebels who still control much of the country might have been behind the arrests.

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