Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed, the former Managing Director of independent station Radio Daljir, was arrested by security forces in the town of Garowe in the semi-autonomous northern Somalian province of Puntland on 17 October.
Although the authorities did not give a reason for his arrest, it is widely believed that it was related to the exposure of police torture by Radio Daljir, an MDIF client. Prior to Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed’s arrest, Puntland’s Supreme military court summoned him on 24 September for questioning.
On 14 September troops raided the Garowe offices of Radio Dajir, searching the station’s offices while it was broadcasting live. Radio Daljir journalists reported that the police were following an order by the Puntland Police Commissioner to arrest the station director, but did not have a warrant or summons.
The following day, police cordoned off the offices of Radio Daljir’s station in Bossasso for four hours as they searched the premises, reportedly looking for Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed.
The raids came after Radio Daljir aired reports alleging that guards working for the Police Commissioner had tortured and killed a prisoner accused of having links with a terrorist group.
The National Union of Somali Journalists issued a statement calling for the immediate release of Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed.
Radio Daljir issued a press release condemning the earlier searches and the International Federation of Journalists also condemned the assaults and called on authorities to stop intimidating the press.