Mareeg.com-We the Somali journalists worldwide are deeply concerned about the unlawful arrests of our colleagues in Nairobi by Kenyan police.
We call on the Kenyan police to immediately and unconditionally release Mahad Omar Diriye secretary General of (JIJA) a local journalist organization and a freelance to IRINnews, and formerly Somaliareport.com and Hassan Sheikh Omar who was the news anchor of Horn Cable TV and a vibrant figure among exiled journalists in Kenya. They are among several journalists who were the victims of recent police arrests in Nairobi. Our colleagues are notably among hundreds of Somali journalists in search of security.
Hassan was detained on 25/04/2014 and Mahad a day before after security agents involving a search in the Somali neighborhood Eastliegh picked them up. According to their relatives, the two presented their press cards and UNHCR identification documents to the police but they were denied and arrested. Both were held in separate operations—without charges or access to a lawyer.
The illegal detention and denying them access to a lawyer and freedom is an infringement of their fundamental human rights while these journalists were forced to leave their country after they were threatened or fatally escaped death in Somalia. Said Mohamed Garane himself a former exiled journalist himself.
We are concerned about Mahad’s health condition. He has been diagnosed with symptoms of serious stomach ulcers and referred to specialized medical care the day before he was detained by the police. The journalists are being held in a cell in Nairobi with more than hundreds of inmates.
We know that some of the arrested colleagues’ equipment were confiscated including mobile telephones, cameras and laptops. A large number of other Somali journalists in Kenya are in hiding and can be the next target of this ongoing swoop by the Kenyan Police.
We the Somali journalists worldwide are dedicated to supporting our colleagues, we call on you to use the mandate of your office to help us fight for the fundamental human rights of these journalists to ensure the two are not deported to Somalia because we believe if they are deported back to Somalia or pushed back to the refugees, that will surely be the end of their lives.
With no peace in our country, and being the deadliest country in Africa for journalists with murders, physical attacks, arrests and kidnappings – life is a nightmare for the few journalists working in Somalia. Those of us the qualified journalists who fled to Europe, Austria and the United States enjoy fundamental democratic and human rights values, but there are still hundreds of others who remain in fragile situations like Kenya and have no means to raise their voices democratically to protest against what is happening to them so i represent these journalists and can be reached for interviews on their conditions or any sort of help to release them on 0032485831089 or by firstname.lastname@example.org