Somalia: Broadcaster ignores death threats and plays music




Broadcaster ignores death threats and plays music

Somali Islamic extremists have banned music on the airwaves, but the organisers of Somalia’s newest radio station, Bar-Kulan, ignore their death threats and music ban, reported Globe and Mail.

Because Bar-Kulan (Somali phrase for “meeting place”) refuses to obey the extremists, its 50 employees of must take precautions for their safety. They often use pseudonyms and voice-overs to protect their identities. And while the station has a network of correspondents across Somalia, along with an FM transmitter in Mogadishu, its main studio has been placed in neighbouring Kenya, where it can operate a little more freely.

Their listeners must be equally cautious. If they live in areas of Mogadishu controlled by the extremist militias, they often secretly listen to Bar-Kulan on earphones or cellphone radios, giving the impression that they’re merely having a phone conversation.

“They could get into trouble for listening to us,” Farah Lamaane, programme co-ordinator at Bar-Kulan told The Globe and Mail. “They are warned by the extremists not to listen to Bar-Kulan, but they still do. They know how to survive. So they are listening quietly and discreetly.”

The station is funded by the United Nations with a budget of 1.7 million US dollars in 2010.

Click to read more about Somalia and music censorship


Globe and Mail – 16 November 2010:

‘Ignoring death threats, Somali broadcaster lets the music play’

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