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Somali police should release Sky FM journalist

Sky FM Editor Nuradin Hassan has been held without charge since Sunday. (Shabelle)

Nairobi, March 31, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Somali authorities in the capital, Mogadishu, to release a radio journalist who has been held without charge since Sunday. Nuradin Hassan is an editor of Sky FM, as well as a news presenter, according to news reports and Sky FM.

Mohamed Khalif, chief inspector of the Central Investigations Department (CID), asked Nuradin to report to the CID for questioning on Sunday, but the journalist was detained when he arrived, Sky FM Director Mohamed Muse told CPJ.

News reports and local journalists, including Mohamed, said Nuradin was detained in connection with his report on Sky FM that said the passport of a British citizen--who works as an adviser to the prime minister--briefly went missing, disrupting his travel plans with the prime minister. Authorities said Nuradin had reported misleading information and questioned the journalist on how Sky FM obtained its information, reports said.

"Somali authorities continually harass journalists who portray the government in a negative light," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes. "We call on the government to release Nuradin Hassan immediately."

Abdirahman Omar, a spokesman for the government, told CPJ that Information Minister Mustafa Dhuholow was looking into the case.

Sky FM is a sister radio station to Radio Shabelle and part of the Shabelle Media Network. The Shabelle Media Network has often been harassed and its journalists targeted. In October 2013, heavily armed security forces raided its offices, arrested three dozen staff members, and confiscated equipment. In the past five years, unknown gunmen have killed at least nine journalists working for the Shabelle Media Network, according to CPJ research

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