The head of an Islamic radio station in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, is in jail for the seventh day after police arrested him on December 1.

Somali Radios

Islamic Radio Station

 Halkaan ka akhri

The head of an Islamic radio station in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, is in jail for the seventh day after police arrested him on December 1.Sheikh Yusuf Mohamed Barrow, director of Mogadishu-based Noble Quran Radio, known by its Somali acronym IQK, was arrested on his way to work last weekend and kept at a jail in Yaaqshiid district, IQK employees said.

He was then transported to another location two days ago by police investigators, although the reason for his detention has not been publicly disclosed yet.

Sheikh Barrow’s relatives told Garowe Online that the initial order for the arrest came from the intelligence service but was implemented by Mogadishu regional police.

A deputy director at IQK said Sheikh Barrow’s arrest has “nothing to do with [his] media work,” adding that the radio boss was arrested for “personal reasons.”

Sheikh Barrow was an active member of the Islamic Courts movement that ruled Mogadishu and much of south Somalia last year, until Ethiopian troops deposed Islamist rulers over the New Year.

The Ethiopian-backed Somali transitional government has not been friendly to the media. Last month, three Mogadishu radio stations were forcefully shut down for more than three weeks by security forces on the orders of government leaders.

Those independent broadcasters – Radio Shabelle, Radio Simba and Radio Banadir – were allowed to resume operations earlier this week by the Mogadishu authority.

Government leaders accused the radio stations of “inciting violence” and have issued stringent rules for the local media to operate under.

Many Somali journalists have fled Mogadishu since the beginning of the year, finding personal refuge in Nairobi, Kenya, and in some cases, Hargeisa, capital of the separatist Somali region of Somaliland.

International media watchgroups have condemned Somaliland’s decision to expel exiled Mogadishu reporters, whom the Hargeisa-based administration accuses of publishing reports critical to Ethiopia.

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