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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Somalia detains journalists, closes radio over Ebola

(Medeshi)- MOGADISHU - Somali police on Saturday detained three journalists and closed down a popular private radio station against the background of a report about a deadly Ebola virus infection.


"The three journalists were arrested Saturday evening by the Somali intelligent agency," Omar Osman, the secretary-general of the National Union of Somali Journalists, told The Anadolu Agency.

"They are all from Radio Risaala, which is now – as I speak – no longer on air."

He added that the Somali intelligence had ordered radio technicians to switch it off.

He identified the three journalists as Mohamed Abdullahi, a director of the radio, Mohamed Abukar, the editor-in-chief, and Mohamed Ali, a reporter.

Radio Risaala had earlier aired public views on a report about a Somali national who had allegedly contracted the deadly Ebola virus while in Guinea-Conakry.

The Health Ministry denied the rumor earlier on Saturday, threatening to take measures against those who propagated it.

A communications officer at the office of Somalia's President, meanwhile, said the three journalists had been arrested against the background of the Ebola talk.

"I think Journalists should be responsible and not spread panic," Haji Mohamud told AA.

The three journalists had been detained at the National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters, according to a police source.

The arrests have, however, sparked anger in the corridors of Somalia's media institutions.

"The arrest is a slap on the face of free media," Osman said.

"The journalists were simply expressing a public concern. We condemn this action [their arrest]," he added.
Source : Anadolu Agency