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Cablegate: Somalia - Continued Efforts to Gain Release of Voa Reporter

VZCZCXRO8012
RR RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHNR #2553 3641233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301233Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0297
INFO SOMALIA COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
RUEPADJ/CJTF-HOA J2X CAMP LEMONIER DJ

UNCLAS NAIROBI 002553

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/E, AF/RSA AND A/S CARSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SO KPAO
SUBJECT: Somalia - Continued Efforts to Gain Release of VOA Reporter

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Summary

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1. (SBU) Post continues to press the regional government of
Puntland to release Voice of America (VOA) Somali Service reporter
Mohamed Yasin Isaq, who was detained on December 21 (reftel) and
remains in custody, with no charges filed against him. The Somalia
Unit has spoken directly with Puntland President "Faroole,"
transmitted a letter from the Ambassador demanding Isaq's release,
issued a local press release on the subject, and conducted an
interview with VOA Somali Service. We also remain engaged through
all possible channels with contacts in Puntland. We spoke directly
with Isaq on December 30, and he indicated he was being treated
adequately. End summary.

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VOA Reporter

Still in Detention

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2. (SBU) Voice of America (VOA) Somali Service reporter Mohamed
Yasin Isaq has been detained in Puntland since his December 21
arrest (reftel). Puntland authorities have yet to file charges
against him, and sources indicate Puntland President "Faroole" is
interested in keeping Isaq in detention - and off the radio - for
an indefinite period. In addition to the December 22 conversation
with "Faroole" reported in reftel, Ambassador Ranneberger sent a
letter (forwarded to AF) directly to "Faroole" on December 29. In
addition, the Counselor for Somalia Affairs conducted a
widely-covered interview with VOA Somali Service on December 28,
which VOA followed with a press release reiterating the Counselor's
assertion that Isaq should be released immediately. Post also
issued a press release on the subject to Somali media (also
forwarded to AF) on December 23. To date, we have had no public or
private response from "Faroole."

3. (SBU) Post spoke directly with Isaq, via a phone connection with
one of the Puntland authorities at the site of his detention, on
the morning of December 30. Isaq told us he was being treated
adequately, with sufficient food and water. He said he would
likely be moved to a police station in Bossaso shortly, following a
pattern of relocations since his December 21 arrest. Isaq thanked
the U.S. government for our efforts to secure his release.

4. (SBU) Post remains engaged with a variety of official contacts
in Puntland, urging them to release Isaq and allow him to continue
his work as a journalist. We also plan to continue our media
engagements on this subject, particularly on other Puntland-based
media outlets.
RANNEBERGER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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