The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the kidnapping of Mohamed Ali Mohamud, publicly known “Madka”, a radio journalist who was snatched by Al-Shabaab forces at his home in Northern Mogadishu.
“We are very concerned for the safety of our colleague, particularly as he is likely to face a sham trial without any representation nor regard to due process,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office.
According to sources relayed by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Al-Shabaab militias raided the home of the journalist two months ago and kidnapped him, accusing him of spying for “enemies of Islam”.
The journalist, who is being held at Al-Shabaab’s feared Huriwa prison, is supposed to appear before an Al-Shabaab court anytime soon. His laptop computer was confiscated and sources within Al-Shabaab groug stated that they have “actual evidence” of the journalist’s spying activities. Al-Shabaab refused to allow family members, relatives and fellow journalists to visit Mohamed Ali Mohamud at the prison.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), IFJ affiliate, which is also concerned about reports of torture of the journalist to force him to reveal his “spying collaborators”, condemned strongly this grave incident and called for immediate release of the journalist. “We are very worried about Mohamud’s safety. He has never been a spy, and we demand Al-Shabaab to free this journalist quickly and unharmed,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
The IFJ calls all parts in conflict in Somalia, particularly the Al Shabaab group to respect the right of journalists to safety and their duty to inform the Somali public in an independent and objective manner.
For more information contact the IFJ at +221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide