Somali government shuts down newspaper, arrests editor
It was unclear why Guled was arrested, but the union said it was the first time the government had acted against the paper, which has been publishing since 1991. (Representative Image) Photograph: (AFP)
In what is being viewed as the latest crackdown amid a climate of intimidation, Somali security forces shut down a newspaper and arrested an editor, the Somali journalists' union said on Sunday.
Intelligence officers stormed the offices of Xog Ogaal, confiscating computers and cameras, and detained an editor, Abdi Adan Guled, on Saturday night, the National Union of Somali Journalists was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"Abdi Adan Guled is the latest victim in a prevailing situation of persecution of independent voices in the Somali media. This has all the hallmarks of state security harassment and hounding of a leading independent journalist," Omar Faruk Osman, the union's secretary-general said.
It was not clear though why Guled was arrested, but the union said it was the first time the government had acted against the paper. The paper has been publishing since 1991, Reuters reported.
According to reports, security forces and officials frequently detain or threaten journalists whose coverage has offended them.
The Islamist insurgency, al-Shabaab, also frequently targets journalists. At least 32 journalists were killed in Somalia from 2010 to 2015, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Many media houses are concerned that intimidation will increase when twice-delayed presidential elections are finally held. They are currently scheduled for November 30.
(WION with inputs from Reuters)