Journalists Condemn the Abduction of a Colleague in Somalia

Statement from the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON)

The Somali Journalists Network today condemned the abduction of a journalist in Mogadishu.

Yesterday, Ms. Zamzam Abdullahi Abdi was abducted just after 17.00 (local time) near the busiest market in the city, Bakaara Market, by three militias, but released today around 08:00 am without any exchange.

"The militia, two men and one woman, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and pistol ordered me to follow them by force" said Zamzam, a member of the Governing Board of the Somali Women Journalists Association (SOWJA). "I was held in an unknown location however, and therefore I don’t know who was responsible for my kidnapping," she added.

"I think that the reason I was kidnapped is due to my involvement in child rights issues, because they said to me 'will you stop talking about child rights?'," said Zamzam Abdullahi, who is also a leading advocate in a number of child protection campaigns in Mogadishu.

"They were masked when they were talking to me, and although they didn’t torture me, they threatened me and I felt under extreme stress during my overnight capture," she said.

The dangers facing journalists are increasing rapidly, while journalist Abdullahi Yasin Jama’ who works for Radio Banadir still fears for his life after he was tortured and censored on 16th of October, which amounts to the second case within a fortnight.

"We are delighted that Zamzam Abdullahi was freed unharmed after a whole night of sadness" said Omar Faruk, SOJON Secretary General. "We condemn such violence against our colleagues, and we shall continue to work to defend the fundamental rights of Somali journalists," Omar Faruk added.

The Somali Journalists Network works to monitor violations against Somali journalists so as to protect and further the vital need for a free and independent press in Somalia.