- The Somali insurgent group, Hisbul Islam, this week imposed oppressive edicts on the radio stations in Mogadishu, especially those based in the areas under their control. Music has again been banned.
The edicts instruct stations not to air music and songs and not to name the foreign fighters as foreigners, but rather to refer to them as "Muhaajiriin".
In a press conference held on 3 April in Mogadishu, Moalim Hashi Mohamed Farah, the man in charge of Mogadishu for the Hisbul Islam, said that any station that fails to act in accordance with these edicts should face serious consequences. "These rules will come into effect within 10 days beginning today," Moalim Hashi Mohamed Farah said in his press conference.
This is the first time the media stations in Mogadishu are facing such public censorship. Six of the eight radio stations under the Hisbul Islam and Al-Shabaab-held neighbourhoods of Mogadishu, five of which are based in Bakaro, will be directly affected by these oppressive edicts.
Similar edicts have been imposed on media stations in the southern Somalia regions held by the radical Islamist group Al-Shabaab, causing the journalists to flee or become Al-Shabaab hostages.
As Al-Shabaab was in control of most of Somalia before the Ethiopian invasion, the Islamists banned music, cinema, sports and other modern cultural expressions.
"This is an indication that media freedom in Somalia is completely under siege," reports the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) from Mogadishu. NUSOJ today strongly protested the increased censorship.
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