Radio correspondent detained

July 13, 2006

Abdikarim Omar Moallim, Radio Banadir

Moallim, a correspondent in Jowhar for private station Radio Banadir, was briefly detained by the Islamist-controlled administration of the region and banned from continuing to work for the station, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). Moallim told NUSOJ that the ban stemmed from his reporting on clashes between business people in Jowhar and the interim regional administration of Middle Shabelle region, of which Jowhar is the main city.

Several Somali traders were arrested in Jowhar by Islamist militiamen after a protest over new taxes in which one person was shot dead, the BBC reported on July 13. Jowhar lies some 56 miles (90 kilometers) to the north of the capital, Mogadishu, where Radio Banadir is based. Since June 5, the Islamic Courts Union has taken control of both Mogadishu and a large swath of southern Somalia, including Jowhar.

Radio Banadir director Ahmed Nur Ali confirmed on July 19 that Moallim was still banned from working. Ali also confirmed that Moallim had been detained by the same authorities the previous month. Moallim was arrested by the Islamists on June 24 as he was interviewing people who had been robbed on the road between Mogadishu and Jowhar, NUSOJ reported. At that time, the head of Middle Shabelle administration, Sheikh Osman Mohammed Mohamud, complained about Radio Banadir and threatened legal action against Moallim, according to NUSOJ. However, the journalist was released without charge after being held overnight.