A Somali journalist was arrested after speaking out against a directive to limit press coverage of military operations Sept. 3.
Hassan Gessey, a radio director at Dalsan Radio in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, is being held without charges. The National Intelligence and Security Agency arrested Gessey and his colleague Abubakar Moyedin shortly after Gessey criticized restrictions on the press according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a press freedom group.
Gessey is the chairman of Somali Independent Media Houses Association and gave several interviews condemning a directive from NISA commander Colonel Koofi specifically prohibiting media coverage related to the Islamist militia al-Shabaab, which is battling Somalia's government and African Union peacekeepers for control of southern Somalia, reported the news site Somali Update.
"Somalia's authorities appear to have committed a double press freedom violation: first they tried to censor the media by asking them not to report on certain military operations, and then they arrested a journalist who dared to criticize the censorship," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes in a statement.
On Sept. 7 the Somali government shut down two more radio stations in the capital: Kulmiye and Simba FM. The staffs were taken in for questioning after both stations aired an Al Shabaab spokesperson announcing the successor of Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed by an American drone strike Sept. 1, reported the Somali Current.