Radio journalist arrested in Jowhar

New York, August 3, 2005—A journalist for the Mogadishu-based independent radio station HornAfrik was arrested in Jowhar last night following a critical report about transitional federal authorities, according to the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) and other local sources. Abdullahi Kulmiye Adow was still in police detention late today, they said. It was not clear whether he had been charged.

Adow had been sent from the capital, Mogadishu, and had been reporting for several days from Jowhar, according to HornAfrik. Jowhar is the current seat of Transitional Federal Government ministers loyal to TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf. Adow’s arrest came after he reported that TFG officials had taken over Jowhar school buildings for its operations, displacing some 1,500 students, according to CPJ sources.

Local journalists said that Jowhar-based TFG leaders have accused HornAfrik of being too sympathetic to dissident TFG leaders based in Mogadishu.

“It’s outrageous that Abdullahi Kulmiye Adow has been detained for doing his job,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. “We call on the Jowhar and transitional federal authorities to ensure that he is released immediately and unconditionally.”

Somalia has had no effective central government since the fall of former president Siad Barre in 1991. The TFG was formed at a peace conference in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, but is now split, with dissident ministers and parliamentarians in Mogadishu, and those loyal to Yusuf in Jowhar, 90 kilometers (56 miles) to the north. Yusuf and his supporters say that security conditions do not permit them to go to Mogadishu.