National Union of Somali Journalists condemns arrest of media worker on Saturday evening
For Immediate release
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns – in the strongest terms possible – the arrest of a Somali journalist on Saturday evening, 13 August, 2016 in Beledwein, the capital of Hiran region, located around 340 km North of Mogadishu.
The arrest of Ali Dahir Herow known as Kuluc, was ordered from the Governor of Hiiraan region’s office, Yusuf Ahmed Hagar (Dabageed), as Ali was taken from his home by members of the Regional Intelligence Service. The media worker is now being held at an Intelligence Detention Center in Beledwein.
“”We ask the Administration of Hiran region to unconditionally release the journalist and we call upon them to respect the media. Freedom of expression and freedom of opinion are among the most fundamental freedoms and rights in any democratic society.” Said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists.
The arrested journalist Ali Dahir Herow ( Kuluc), spoke on the phone this morning with the Secretary General of NUSOJ, Mohamed Moalimuu. Ali said that he still doesn’t understand the reason behind his arrest, but suspects the arrest may be related to his remarks at an internet chatting room, where he expressed his personal views on the current regional governor’s behavior.
NUSOJ has learned that some local elders requested the release of the journalist this morning, but the Governor Yusuf denied the elders request and described the journalist as a criminal, even though he did not give any clear reason behind the journalist’s detention.
Ali Kuluc used to work as a reporter with Bar-Kulan, an AMISOM supporting radio funded by the UN. He has recently been appointed to become the media coordinator for the Federal Ministry of Information.
Ali is on of fourteen journalists arrested in different parts of the Somalia in the last three months. NUSOJ is very concerned about the ongoing violence against Somali journalists.
NUSOJ also expresses its concern over the long detention in Mogadishu of six researchers from Mogadishu Research Centre, who are still in custody without due process. They have been in custody since Thursday on 21 July.
Government officials accused them for writing a baseless research on Somalia’s Intelligence Agency NISA. But they are yet to be charged.
General Secretary of National Union of Somali Journalists
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu