Somalia: Two journalists arrested by the police within 24 hours

Reporter Farhan Abdi Isse from HornCable TV and Sadaq Saed Nur, a former employee from Galmudug state TV and now freelance, were assaulted on 22 October by the police as they were carrying out their journalistic duties. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in condemning these arrests and calls on the Somali government to stop silencing and intimidating journalists.

Credit: IFJ

The journalists were respectively arrested in Gabiley district and in Galkayo of the state of Galmudug. 

Despite the adoption of a Somali National Action Plan to strengthen the safety of media workers in the country and to strongly protect press freedom while enhancing democracy, these two new attacks worsen the already alarming situation regarding the security of journalists.

On 22 October, Farhan Abdi Isse got arrested by the police of Somaliland, in the district of Gabiley. Abdi Isse was covering a meeting organised by a group of young activists wanting the district of Gabiley to be fully a region and not just an interim regional administration as it is now. Governor of Gabiley’s district ordered the arrest of the journalist.

On the same day, in the regional state of Galmudug, freelance photojournalist and videographer Sadaq Saed Nur and a former journalist of Galmudug state TV, spent the night at the police station for a posting on his Facebook about a fight in an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp DP in Galkayo during a visit by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. His phones were confiscated and all the content on his Facebook page were deleted. Despite his release, he was asked not to post anything about Galkayo’s camp.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said “We are disturbed by the twin arrests of journalists in Somaliland and Galmudug on 22 October 2022 and call for an end to the sustained campaign of intimidation and censorship against independent journalism.

IFJ Secretary General, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We condemn these arrests that are meant to silence and intimidate journalists and encourage Somali authorities to further strengthen the National Action Plan for the safety of media workers. The safety crisis facing journalists on the ground is extremely concerning and must be put to an end without further delay.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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