MOGADISHU, July 26 (Reuters) – Somali Islamist rebels have ordered residents in areas they control to hand over televisions and satellite dishes, warning that anyone who did not would be considered a spy, residents said on Monday.
The affected region is largely controlled by the al Shabaab group, a rebel militia linked to al Qaeda which enforces a harsh version of sharia law that includes banning school bells, ringtones on cell phones and music on radios.
Members of the militia group, which has also banned watching football and films, have warned residents through loud speakers mounted on vehicles in towns across southern and central Somalia to give up their TV sets before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan starts in mid-August.
“Families were told to surrender their television sets and satellite dishes. They are afraid some of us may use them as private channels for communication,” Abshir, a resident of Buula-barde, told Reuters.
“In the past, we could not watch games or films as we wanted. Now, we cannot have TV sets at all,” he said, declining to give his second name for safety reasons….
* The Ayatollah Khomeini said that.