Somalia: Islamists in Kismayo Silence Radio Station for Playing Music

Regulation & Policy

The Islamist faction that controls the southern Somali port of Kismayo shut down an independent radio station Sunday, Radio Garowe reported. A decree issued by the Islamist Al Shabaab information secretary, Sheikh Hassan Yakub, effectively silenced Radio HornAfrik-Kismayo after accusing the station of "playing music and misreporting the news."

Ahmed Mohamed "Alanle," the radio's director, said shutting down radio station is part of other media freedom violations under the Islamists. "I can say the radio was shut down as an attack against independent media and to control public information, because the radio aired different political views," Mr. Alanle said.

Kismayo' s Islamist rulers issued prior decrees curtailing journalists' and media outlets' content, including a ban on all types of music. Alanle said emerging reports indicate that the Islamist administration wants to establish their own radio station "that speaks as their mouthpiece," he added.

Radio HornAfrik-Kismayo was established in 2005 and is associated with HornAfrik, a Mogadishu-based media organization.

Garowe Online (Garowe) 14 December 2008