Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Somali Journalists Outraged by the jailing of another journalist without Charges

Mogadishu:- 11 February, 2013, The National Union of Somali Journalists is outraged by the arbitrary arrests, threats and intimidations against the Somali journalists following the detention of another Somali journalist Daud Abdi Daud held without charges since February 05, 2013.

Somali police arrested Daud Abdi Daud, a freelance journalist and secretary general of Somali Environmental Journalists Association and African Environmental Journalists (AFEJ), outside the court on February 5, 2013 around 2:30pm and held at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for 6 days without charges and was transferred to Central prison on Monday 11 February 2013.

On February 6, union representatives, the director of Radio Kulmiye - the radio station he was working for, and some family members met the Attorney general, Abdulkadir Mohamed at his office and asked about Daud's case. The attorney general confirmed to them that he should be released but should remain in the CID for five days of what he termed as "discipline". There are several occasions in which the union officials were threatened into rampant arrests against the journalists.

Somali authorities did not comment on the detention of the journalist and it is not yet clear why he was detained and what charges he might face.

Somali police and the judiciary were angered by the aftermath of the trail of the Somali journalist, Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim who was handed down to 1 year prison term for interviewing a woman who said that she was gang raped by the Somali security forces.

The National Union of Somali Journalists has been following up the case of Daud from the day of his arrest and but the union currently worries about that the case be turned into politically motivated attempt to threaten and intimidate the journalists.

"We call for the Somali government to urgently release Daud and Quash the conviction of Abdiazi and come up with mechanism that guarantees free and independent media." Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said, "Somali journalists suffered enough, with 18 media workers killed in 2012 alone, which none of the killers were punished for their crimes."

"The government should prioritize in investigating and punishing their killers for their crimes and provide proper protection to the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press and the journalists' safety" Mr. Ibrahim added.

NUSOJ received credible information indicating that there are conspiracy plans to create a confusion and conflict among the independent media, journalists and the government in order for the government to view the independent media and the journalists as enemies, which if becomes true could result total media crackdown and news blackout.

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