Senegal: CPJ says journalist detained, three others fined in Somalia

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has said that Mohamed Bashir Hashi, a journalist in Somalia, is being detained while three others faced heavy fines.

In a statement, obtained here by PANA Wednesday, the press freedom watchdog disclosed that Mr. Hashi, who works for Shabelle radio, is being detained on accusations of promoting insurrection against the state and his case is pending in court.

According to CPJ, the Banadir Regional Court in Mogadishu convicted Abdimalik Yusuf, owner of the independent Shabelle Media Network, of public incitement and fined him US$10,000.

Mohamud Mohamed Dahir, director of Sky FM, and Ahmed Abdi Hassan, a presenter for Shabelle FM, were also fined US$2,000 and US$500 respectively, for ''publishing false news with the intent to disturb public order.''

"By imposing hefty fines, the Somali government is attempting to silence the flow of news in the country. These measures have a chilling effect on the ability of journalists and news outlets to publish and broadcast freely," remarked CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes.

"We welcome the release of Mohamud Mohamed Dahir from jail, but call on the Somali government to free Mohamed Bashir Hashi immediately."

The statement pointed out that the Shabelle Media Network paid the journalists' fines, and Mohamud was released from jail.

Abdimalik and Ahmed were said to have been released from jail  months before the verdict. Sky FM and Shabelle FM are two stations in the network.

On August 15, 2014, security agents arrested Abdimalik, Mohamud and Ahmed in the offices of the Shabelle Media Network and confiscated the transmitters of Radio Shabelle and Sky FM.

The journalists were arrested after authorities accused the network of inciting the public to violence and urging clans to fight security forces.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 4March2015

04 march 2015 15:10:07

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