Mogadishu, July 29 2018 – The National Union of Somalia Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the unconditional release today at around 5:30pm local time of radio broadcast journalist Ismail Yusuf Abukar who was illegally detained yesterday morning by Somalia forces in Walla-Eeyn district of Lower Shabelle region in Somalia.
The journalist personally called NUSOJ Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu by phone from Balidoogle military airfield minutes after his release to confirm his freedom and thanked NUSOJ for highlighting his plight and calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Baledoogle is 90 km south west of the capital Mogadishu.
Ismail said he was blind folded and kept incommunicado for 36 hours under inhumane conditions in a military cell in Baledoogle military base. He said he was never questioned and only released today without even being told why he was detained in the first place. “I wish to thank NUSOJ for standing with me at my hour of need. I don’t know why I was arrested and denied my freedom since Saturday morning when heavily armed security forces raided my house at dawn and took me away to Baledoogle military base without an explanation where I was held in captivity until my release on Sunday evening. No one has mentioned anything to me up to now. They just told me I was free to go,” Ismail added.
“We welcome the unconditional release of our colleague Ismail of Walla-Weyn radio. However, we demand a full explanation from the government and in particular the security forces who detained him yesterday. Somalia has laws which outlaw illegal detention, arrest and intimidation. We will not accept these jungle rules to be the basis in which innocent journalists are detained, denied their constitutionally protected rights and their freedoms violated at will. We demand an explanation and a stop to such barbaric and outdated practice which must never be allowed to be the order of the day,” NUSOJ Secretary General Moalimuu said.
Three days ago a TV cameramen Abdirizak Kasim Iimaan was killed in Mogadishu by a policeman who was on duty .The journalist was riding a rickshaw or Bajaj and was heading to work. It is unfortunate that his killer is yet to be arrested or charged. We wish to call upon the Federal Government of Somalia to urgently investigate the matter and to bring to justice the policeman who killed our colleague the late Abdirizak Kasim Iman.
NUSOJ also calls upon the friends of Somalia to use their influence to urge the Somalia government to respect media freedoms and to bring to justice anyone who violates the rights of the media who work under hard and dangerous conditions to provide vital information to the Somali public.