BAIDOA (SD) – A local radio station in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region is off the air for the fourth day after regional police ordered closure.
Southwest state police last Saturday arrested journalist Osman Aweys Bahar following a raid on Radio Barawe in Barowe town.
According to Mogadishu based media watchdog group, the closure of the station and the arrested Bashar came after the station aired a report about alleged marginalisation of some locals in both government services and development projects.
Barawe police commissioner Abdukadir Adan Mohamed said the decision to shut of the station and the arrest of its journalist was order from above.
The journalist who featured the program is still held at the Barawe police station.
Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) has called for the release of Bashar and resumption of Radio Barawe operation.
“We condemn the raid on Radio Barawe and the arbitrary arrest of journalist Osman Aweys Bahar who was targeted for only reporting the complaints of the people of Barawe. SJS calls on South West State authorities to free journalist Bahar and allow Radio Barawe, a radio owned by the local community, to operate without harassment,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said.
On 20 April last year, authorities in Barawe was suspended Radio Barawe’s unique local Baravanese (Chimwiini or Chimbalazi) dialect programming but the radio resumed its broadcasting days later.