Addis Abeba – The Somali regional police arrested journalist Muhiyadin Mohammed Ali who works for Kalsan TV a day after a decision by the region’s communication bureau to take 15 foreign media outlets broadcasting in the region off air, accusing reporters of the outlets based in the region of working without licenses.
Kalsan TV is one of the 15 foreign media outlets banned from operating in the region.
Muhiyadin’s close friend, Abdirahman Mohammed, told Addis Standard that Muhiyadin received a call from the police and asked to present himself to police station on 29 January after which he was detained.
According to Abdirahman, the 15 suspended media outlets were preparing to give official press release about the ban and Muhiyadin was the coordinator of the press release, which Abdirahman claims to be the reason of his friend’s arrest.
Another friend of Muhiyadin who asked to remain anonymous said prior to his arrest Muhiyadin had received calls from police officers who warned him about his activities on social media in critics of the regional ruling party.
After two days of detention at the Fafan zone police station, Muhiyadin was brought to court on 31 January 31 on charges of spreading false propaganda using social media. His case has been adjourned for 07 February.
On 28 January Somali Regional State Communications Bureau has banned 15 foreign media outlets including the BBC and VOA Somali services, of working without licenses. Somali Region Journalists’ Association, however said, the regional government played vital role in banning these media outlets using the license issue as a pretext.
Attempts by Addis Standard to get comments on the detention of Muhiyadin Mohammed were unsuccessful. AS