Posted by: africanpressorganization | 18 August 2008

Puntland Arrests Journalist, Restricts media covering Presidential Elections


Puntland Arrests Journalist, Restricts media covering Presidential Elections


GAROWE, Puntland, August 18, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today condemns the arrest of Mohammed Mohamud, Director of Radio Daljir in Bossasso.

Around 12:30pm local time, Puntland Police Chief summoned journalist Mohammed Mohamud, publicly known Welcome, at Central Police Station of Bari Region after the Radio Station was accused for covering election campaign of Mr Nuradin Adan Diriye, one of presidential candidates of Puntland Regional State.

Gani Mohammed Haji Abdi, Police General Commander of Puntland, stated the journalist and the radio station breached presidential degree which was ordering not to cover presidential campaigns until 1st of November 2008.

“Locking up a journalist for covering election campaign like our colleague Mohammed Mohamud is legally baseless and is part of widespread campaign to restrict public’s right to information” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “We demand immediate and unconditional release of Mohamed Mohamud”.

Many journalists in Puntland stated they have been frequently threatened and censored by police and Puntland’s powerful political figures. They said that they have been prevented intentionally from covering certain news stories or events, such as visits of presidential candidates to certain regions and districts, and were warned that they would face arrest if they report news deemed unwanted by the authorities or powerful politicians.  

Governor of Bari Region Muse Gelle Yusuf told journalists on Saturday, 16 August 2008, that media is prohibited to cover or participate in campaigns for presidential elections before 1st of November 2008 as the governor referred degree from Puntland President.  

“This degree from Puntland President and statements from Putnland officials severely restrict the right to freedom of expression ahead of Puntland’s presidential elections” said Omar Faruk Osman.



SOURCE : National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)


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