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Moderate Islamists Detain a Prominent Somali Radio Reporter

The none-militant Somali Islamist group Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa has detained a prominent radio journalist Abdul Kamirm Ahmed Bulhan in the city of Abud Waq near the border with Ethiopia, colleagues and relatives confirmed Thursday.

The Mogadishu-based radio Shabelle reporter was snatched from his home in mid last night and is being held in custody, his brother Mahmoud Ahmed Bulhan told reporters on Thursday morning.

“Heavily armed fighters belonging to the Ahlu Suna group raided our home last night and they took the journalist in a pick up Toyota car, only they told us that he is guilty,” Bulhan’s older brother stated.

The Ahlu Sunna authorities in the town who were reached for comment said that the detained journalist’s news coverage was always jeopardizing security in the region and that is why he was taken to custody.

Journalists in Somalia are commonly arrested, tortured, extorted, robbed and most cruelly killed by all sides involved in Somalia’s dirty political struggle including the Somali government, the none-militants and the Alqaeda-allied extremists.

President of Somali Sports press association SSPA which also lobbies for the right of Journalists in the chaotic country Abdi Aziz Godah Barre has condemned the move and asked for the sudden release of the journalist.

“We are totally denouncing the barbaric arrest of Mr. Bulhan and we are calling for his unconditional release,” the president told reporters on Thursday morning.

Last year at least nine prominent journalists including radio and TV directors were killed in troubled south-central Somalia, most of them in the capital, as Somalia was described the most dangerous place for journalists to work in the world after the Philippines.

For the past three years nearly 100 journalists fled Somalia and most of them are currently living in neighboring States like Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda, while more others are still remaining in the lawless country to promote their journalism job.

Somalia hasn’t had a functioning government since the 1991 downfall of former military rule of the late dictator General Mohamed Siyad Barre. More than half a million people including scores of journalists were killed in the war-ravaged horn of African country since then.

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Shafi’i has extensive experience in journalism, international relations, and football management. He is the founder of Somali Sports Press Association, a long-time sports journalist and a member of the International Sports Press Association.

Shafi’i has a Master’s Degree in international Relations obtained at De Montfort University in Leicester and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia journalism from the University of Northampton. The photo shows Shafi’i in action while at CAF Centre of Excellence in Cameroon.

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