DETAILS of how a group of armed men loyal to the Al-Shabaab administration in Baidoa town, the regional headquarters of Bay region, stormed Warsan Radio compound and detained one of the reporters, are now being confirmed by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
Warsan Radio was among two other radio stations indefinitely closed in October by the Al Shabaab administration.
Journalist Muhyadin Husni, a reporter with Warsan Radio who is also the regional correspondent for Shabelle Media Network is still in custody and the Al-Shabaab administration is yet to comment on the reason of his arrest.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œA group of masked armed men came to the radio station and arrested our reporter Muhyadin Husni.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Hilal Sheik Shuayb, the Director of Warsan Radio in Baidoa, said.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe armed men are still within the radio compound and they have taken the keys to the radio station from the guards,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Hilal said.
In the capital Mogadishu, a Somali war photographer and award-winning journalist, Mohamed Dahir (AFP), and Mohamoud Muktar Koofi, a Universal TV cameraman, were kept for 48 hours in a detention center at Villa Somalia by the government soldiers.
The journalists were allegedly seen taking photographs of African Union tankers firing at Bakara market after insurgents attacked the bases of the government forces and that of the African Union peacekeepers along Maka Al-Mukarama road, the strategic road that connects villa Somalia to the airport, on Wednesday morning.
Before they were detained, the police were ordered to erase the films and photographs, according to the journalists.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey did not torture us, but they interrogated us on Wednesday night around 2:00am, alleging we were Al-Shabaab spies. That was the most difficult case we faced during our detention.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Dahir said.
The journalists were later released upon the intervention of Yusuf Mire Seeraar, a Somali MP who heard of the arrest on Thursday.