Broadcast Journalist arrested in Northern Somalia

Read Time:3 Minute, 21 Second Mogadishu, 03/01/2014

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the arrest
of the broadcast journalist in the disputed town of Laas-Aanod by the
Somaliland authorities on Friday noon 03 January, 2014, the latest in
a series of attacks against the journalists and the independent media
in Somalia.

Somaliland police arrested Faysal Jama, a correspondent for the
Bar-Kulan Radio, a public broadcasting radio, after trying to take
photographs of demonstrators in the town of Laas-Anod of Sool region
after Friday prayers while confiscating his camera. The journalist is
held at the police station in Laas-Anod

“The Journalist was photographing demonstrators after Friday prayers
when he was arrested.” Mohamed Dahir Farah, Director of Bar-Kulan
radio told NUSOJ

The National Union of Somali Journalists condemns the arbitrary
arrests and intimidations against the journalists in the region in an
attempt to suppress the independent media and calls for the Somaliland
authorities to free the journalist while giving full respect to the
media freedoms and freedom of expression.

“We condemn the arbitrary arrest against our colleague in Laas-Anod
and call for his immediate release.” Mohamed Ibrahim,
Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said,
“Journalists should be given full access to report freely without fear.”

Somaliland authorities waged a campaign of media crack down in
Hargeysa and arrested 7 other journalists in December alone. On
December 3, 2013; Somaliland police arrested Mr. Said Khadar Abdillahi
of (Bulsho TV), Mr. Abdisalan Abdirashid of Bulsho TV, Mr. Hassan
Maal-didar of Universal TVand Mr. Abdiaziz Bashir Nour from Hog-reeb
News Website while they were participating in peaceful protest
organized by journalists to express their outrage on the release of
man alleged to have attacked the owner of Hubaal at the newspaper
headquarters on 24th April 2013. Hargeisa Regional Court jailed the
journalists on December 5.

On December 17, Somaliland police raided the offices of Hubaal
newspaper and shutdown the newspaper and arrested two of its
journalists. Regional police commissioner, General Abdullahi Fadal
Iman told the local media that they closed Hubaal newspaper office
with a court warranty, accusing the news agency of publishing stories
dividing police leadership and misleading security officers. A
Somaliland court banned Hubaal from publication in June, and then
lifted the ban and issued pardons in August .

In a separate incident, Jubbaland Administration arrested Mohmed Hasan
who worked for Radio Kismayo run by the Jubbaland administration and a
female journalist, Nasteho Omar, who reported to a Mogadishu based
SkyFM in the southern Somali town of Kismayo on December 28, 2013. The
journalists were released on 30 December 2013. Jubbaland
administration did not specify reasons behind these arrests. Further
to the arrests, Adan Mohamed Salaad (Aadan Kismayo) was arrested by
the Members of the Intelligence Services of the Jubbaland
Administration in Kismayo on Sunday noon, 22 Dec. 2013. His arrest has
been ordered by the presidency of the Jubbaland Administration. He was
released on Tuesday morning 24 December,2013 after he was held
incommunicado for two days.

On January 2, 2013, Police in Ceerigaabo released from custody Mr.
Abdirisak Yusuf Ali known as Terra, who is the editor of the a Somali
language site; WarSomali. Mr. Ali was arrested by the Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) in Sanaag region, after he was accused
of publishing a story over cars armed by local clans, a claim which
the CID investigation were unable to verify.

“These violations are unacceptable and deplorable in pursuit to
silence the media freedoms.” The union’s Secretary-General, Mr.
Ibrahim said, “We urge the International community supporting Somalia
to stand with the Somali journalists in their struggle to press
freedom before they are silenced which could lead news blackout.”

Somalia is the one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist.
7 journalists and media workers have been killed in Somalia in 2013
and none has been punished for their murders.

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