JOINT STATEMENT: Somali media fraternity condemns recent violations against media and journalists in the country
MOGADISHU, Somalia 19May, 2020- The Somali media fraternity: Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ), Somali Media Association (SOMA) and Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) outrageously condemn the recent violations against journalists and the media in Mogadishu and Gedo region in the latest of string of violence targeting media professionals in Somalia.
Around 9:00p.m on Monday, armed NISA officers raided the premises of the privately owned Somali Cable TV in Mogadishu. According to the affected journalists, three officers beat cameraman Abdirahman Omar Abdulle who sustained slight injuries on the left arm while threatening to shoot a reporter and a driver at the TV’s premises before leaving the area. The reason of the raid is yet unclear and officers responsible were not arrested as of Tuesday midday.
Around 8:00p.m on Monday, a police commander and three officers from Hodan District Police Station stopped Som News TV reporter, Mohamed Abdi Osman and cameraman Abdifatah Mohamed Abdullahi who were on assignment to cover Covid-19 impact on the local business ahead of the upcoming Eid-al-Fitr celebrations. The officers told the journalists to stop filming nearby shops in the pretext of that business owners were not happy with the filming. When the journalists demanded explanation, the officers threatened that they will shoot if the journalists continue filming resulting the TV crew to leave and drop their assignment.
Around 3.30p.m on Monday, police officers in Beledhawo town of Gedo briefly detained freelance journalist Warsame Haji Farah after photographing Beledhawo city market on the aftermath of a gun clash within the Somali police force in Beledhawo on Monday.
Regrettably, these latest incidents occurred hours after the media fraternity expressed grave concern about the endless threats against the media professionals working in the country and the total impunity enjoyed by those committing these violations.
While, we jointly condemn these latest violations, we also demand for a prompt investigation into the attack on Somali Cable TV premises on Monday and we call for the Somali police to permit unhindered access to all journalists to carry out their duties without harassment.
Meanwhile, the Somali media fraternity on Monday condemned the continued enforced disappearance against Radio Hiigsi editor, Mohamed Abduwahaab Nuur (Abuuja) since 7th March in Mogadishu as we call for his freedom or be brought to a court of law with access to a lawyer.