Reporters Without Borders

Predators

Somalia
Abdulkadir Hussein Mohamed “Jahweyn”
minister of information, posts and telecommunications in the transitional federal government (TFG)

Somalia’s permanent state of conflict creates a highly dangerous atmosphere for reporters and their work is made even more risky, even impossible, by the intolerance of Islamist militias towards freedom of information. The federal transitional government does nothing to support the work of news organizations.

As minister of information, posts and telecommunications, Abdulkadir Hussein Mohamed, known as “Jahweyn”, is the one who orchestrates the threats and pressure suffered by the press. He also forces radio stations to pay taxes that are not required by law or under official regulations. In late March last year, the manager and news director of the private station Radio Shabelle were arrested by the National Security Agency on Jahweyn’s orders. The two men were deprived of food and allowed no visitors before being released after 48 hours.

The cause of their detention was a report questioning the competence of the head of the transitional government, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Journalists that criticize the actions of the government and its leaders are not welcome at official press conferences and are accused by the minister and his staff of “disseminating lies”.

In January this year, the information ministry blamed the murder of Hassan Osman Abdi, director of the Shabelle Media Network, on the Al-Shabaab Islamist militia but many in the Mogadishu media community doubt this version of events. Shortly before he was gunned down, the Shabelle Media Network highlighted cases of corruption in the transitional government.

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