The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the closure of the London based Somali language Television office in Mogadishu and the arrest of the its staff on Friday October 2, 2015 by the National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA).
Universal TV East Africa Director, Abdullahi Hersi and the producer of the widely viewed Doodwadaag Program were summoned by regional NISA office in Mogadishu for questioning over alleged Doodwadaag Show that was aired by the television the following night and were arrested upon arrival without court orders. Further to this, members of the NISA raided the offices of the television and ordered that indefinite closure of the offices.
The arrest of the journalist and the raid of the premises of the television follows after the television aired a widely viewed Doodwadaag show that is run by the Awil Dahir Salaad in which two federal parliament members Hon. Abdi Hashi Abdullahi, Chair of Media and communication Subcommittee of the parliament and Hon. Mohamed Abdi Yusuf, were interviewed.
Universal Television is a Somali language TV with its Headquarters in London.
On Sunday, NUSOJ office in Mogadishu was informed by members of the senior management of the television that the Somalia’s attorney General offices gave 21 days NISA to investigate the case, which the journalists will be remain in prison without court appearance.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the arrest of the Universal TV anchor Awil Dahir Salaad and its East Africa director Abdullah Hersi and the closure of the TV offices, which is a blatant act of violation against the press freedom and freedom of expression, while NUSOJ calls for the Federal government of Somalia to unconditionally free the journalists and allow the television offices to resume operation.
“We condemn the way the office of Universal was closed and the journalists arrested and condemn in the strongest terms possible.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “The Somali media needs protection ahead of thorny and critical juncture in 2016.”
“The freedom of expression and the right has been outlined in the federal constitution and should be given the appropriate protection.” Mr. Ibrahim added.
In a separate incident, the Interim Jubbaland administration closed the office of Universal TV in Kismayo on August 23, 2015.
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