Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 April 2010

NUSOJ Condemns Al-Shabaab’s Ban on BBC as “Complete lack of respect for the value of media freedom”





NUSOJ Condemns Al-Shabaab’s Ban on BBC as “Complete lack of respect for the value of media freedom”



MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 9, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today condemned Al-Shabaab armed group’s imposition of ban on news and other programmes of BBC that are re-broadcasted in Somalia through local FM stations, particularly the regions and districts under their control.

Al-Shabaab group banned the listening of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and said “they will confiscate its equipment”. A statement from the group accuses the BBC that it broadcasts programmes “against Muslims and Islam”. “The BBC makes propaganda for the enemy of Muslims and the Christian agents,” said the statement from Al-Shabaab.

“This repressive act against BBC is a strong demonstration of the gravity of media repression by Al-Shabaab. We are very concerned at the apparent intention of Al-Shabaab to get tough on journalists and media organisations that have taken an independent attitude of reporting. Al-Shabaab has demonstrated complete lack of respect for the value of media freedom in the country”, said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

Immediately after the release of this statement, Al-Shabaab reportedly raided and looted BBC offices in Mogadishu’s Bakara Market and other two offices. All the equipment of the BBC offices in Baidoa, Mogadishu and Jowhar were taken away by Al-Shabaab, according to local journalists in Jowhar, Mogadishu and Baidoa.

Private Radio Stations that had agreements with the BBC to re-broadcast its programme effectively implemented the Al-Shabaab order in fear for their life and equipments.

“The ban on these two international broadcasters and the suppression of independent reporting at such a critical time that Somali people are ravenous for news and information is a serious attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know what is going on,” Omar stated.

The BBC is owned by Britain and it is the first voice that fulfills the agendas of the Christian colony to Muslim world,” the Al-Shabaab statement added. The group called on the radio stations that have the contract to re-broadcast the programmes of BBC and VOA to end today; otherwise they would be raided and plundered.

“This continued and systematic oppression and vicious intimidation of media and journalists is intolerable. We need an immediate end to the reign of terror that is being unleashed against local and international media” added Omar Faruk. 



The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)


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