Somalia: Sool governor orders detention of three journalists in Lasanod, Jubbaland security threatens journalists covering election

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MOGADISHU, Somalia, 31 December 2021 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns the detention of three journalists in the city of Lasanod and calls on the Somaliland authorities to release them unconditionally, while SJS also calls on Jubbaland security officials to stop threatening and threatening journalists covering Lower Husval.

On December 26, Somaliland police in Lasanod arrested Holhol Media journalist Abdifatah Mohamed Abdi, who also reports for Saab TV, after he posted a video in which Lasanod residents appealed to President Muse Bihi Abdi to fire the governor of the Sool region, Abdikarin Adan Haji Diriye, citing to “mismanagement and so division among society.” According to colleagues and family members, the detention was ordered by the journalist by Governor Diriye.

On Thursday, December 30, police arrested two other journalists: Universal Somali TV reporter, Abdikhadar Farah Abshir and free-runner Hamze Abdirahman Ahmed on orders from Governor Diriye. The arrest of the two reporters also follows after they reported interviews with complaints from Lasanod’s elders and members of the community who criticize the governor of the Sool region and demand that he be removed.

Somaliland police officers in Lasanod and the governor of the Sool region Abdikarin Adan Haji Diriye did not respond to SJS’s request as to why he ordered the arrest of the journalists detained at Lasanod police station. So far no charges have been brought against them.

“We are extremely concerned about the actions of Sool Abdikarin Governor Adan Haji Diriye, who had personally threatened the three journalists and ordered that they be arrested only for conducting interviews that were critical of him,” said the Secretary General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS). ) Abdalle Ahmed Mumin “We urge Governor Diriye to stop threatening journalists and release Abdifatah Mohamed Abdi, Abdikhadar Farah Abshir and Hamze Abdirahman Ahmed from detention.”

SJS is also concerned about the growing pressure and threats against independent journalists in Kismayo after Jubbaland’s intelligence officials called journalists on December 20 and instructed them to keep away all coverage of election disputes and complaints. A senior Jubbaland intelligence officer named Basaam had threatened journalists with dire consequences if they would report complaints about the outcome of the election to the lower house’s locations in the state.

On December 28, a group of journalists covering the selection of the lower house’s seats in Kismayo’s Daawad Hall were threatened with arrest and assault, and their camera equipment was confiscated to prevent the journalists’ independent surveillance that day.

“It is unfortunate that journalists in Kismayo can not independently cover the election of the lower house, including being able to investigate and report complaints and disputes regarding the election process as well as allegations of misconduct during the vote of the lower house. Journalists told them. they tend to investigate these allegations, Moomin added.

Early on Thursday, December 30, al-Shabaab fighters looted and destroyed the studio of the privately owned Radio Bal’ad in the city of Bal’ad, about 30 km north of Mogadishu, during an armed attack that resulted in intense gun battles in the city. Journalists and other staff fled the studio before the attack and were all unharmed.

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