NUSOJ Protests the Shutdown of Radio Jowhar following 24Hrs Ultimatum


The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests the closure of Radio Jowhar in the town of Jowhar, the regional capital of Middle Shabelle region by the Somali police, following 24 hour ultimatum and call for the Somali government to allow the Radio station to resume operation and provide enough time the radio station can safely evacuate the building.

The regional police in Jowhar’s police station led by the police commissioner of Jowhar police station, Mohamed Siyaad Ali (Canjeex) came to the station on Friday morning, while radio station was airing its morning programs and ordered the radio station to shut down and ordered the journalists to leave the premises immediately, according to the journalists. The police had shown the letter ordering the 24 hour ultimatum and told the journalists, “we are following orders.”

The Governor of Middle Shabelle region, Eng. Abdi Jiinow, on Wednesday 23 July, 2014, issued a decree ordering the Radio station to evacuate the premises within 24 hours.

In a press conference held in the town of Jowhar on Friday by Governor Abdi Jiinow accused the radio station for violating an agreement between the management of the radio station and the administration indicating that “The radio station will evacuate the building if its needed.” Adding that he had provided the premises to the radio station in the first place, a claim which the management of the radio refuted, saying that they had not been given warnings before and there has not been such agreement before.

However, some journalists believe that the governor had been annoyed by the radio station for not covering his recent return to Jowhar, which the radio had not been pre-informed on his arrival and that most of the journalists were away due to the holy month of Ramadaan.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) again calls for the governor of the region to allow the radio station to resume operation and provide enough time the station can evacuate.

“We are shocked by such short notice of 24hours given, followed by complete shutdown.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “We call for the governor and the Federal government to reverse their decision and allow the radio to resume operations.”

“We urge the authorities to give enough time the station is able to find another office and not deafen the communities in the region from news and information.”

Radio Jowhar, which is community radio and the only radio station operating in the region, has been shutdown on Friday and the community in the region will remain isolated from news.