Clarification on 15th August Radio Shabelle/Radio SKY FM Incident
Mogadishu, 21 August 2014 – Dr Ahmed Ali Dahir, the Attorney General has today clarified the incident that occurred on Friday 15th August 2014 related to the closure of Radio Shabelle and Radio SKY FM (operating in the same office) and the detention of station staff. The Attorney General said that the operation was conducted legally, as he ordered the security forces to immediately stop the deliberate incitement and provocation that the two radio stations were airing. The radio stations were broadcasting live and calling upon the people to rise up in an illegal, clannish manner, inciting them to attack the security forces while they were in the process of conducting the disarmament process in the city. Both radio stations were encouraging public to take up arms against government forces. As a result of these broadcasts there were demonstrations in some parts of the city that led to killing of innocent people.
The Attorney General said ” The Office of the Attorney General, having listened to both radio stations’ broadcasts, decided that it was absolutely necessary for public safety to immediately halt such incitement and provocation. I therefore ordered the Somali security forces to immediately close Shabelle and SKY FM radio stations (which were in violation of Somali constitution). We released 18 of the detainees within 48 hours. However, 3 people remain in custody as we believe that they were responsible for the provocative broadcasts made on Friday. On 17th August we asked the Banadir Regional Court for an extension of their detention by 21 days in order to complete our investigations and the Judge granted that request. After we complete our investigation we will bring them to court to face trail.”
Dr Ahmed Ali Dahir, the Attorney General continued: “I assigned this case to the deputy Attorney General, who has a wealth experience of these kinds of cases, to ensure that the accused receive a fair trial. My office has received complaints of torture against the 3 detainees, and I immediately ordered an investigation to the matter. However, I can confirm to you that the Banadir Regional Judge, having investigated the accusations, found no substance to allegations against torture and declared these allegations were pure fabrication.”
Dr Ahmed Ali Dahir stated that the Attorney General’s Office always ensures that citizens and institutions can be confident that they will receive a fair trial and concluded: “We will never allow Somali citizens to be subject of torture and I order all security institutions to be very mindful and sensitive when dealing with citizens. These institutions must carry out their duties without any form of human rights violation. The Attorney General’s Office is there to uphold the rule of law and to protect citizens from any harm or human rights violations, which is their legal right as stipulated in our provisional constitution.” ENDS
Ministry of Information, Federal Republic of Somalia, email@example.com