Somalia: IFJ welcomes release of trade union leader

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined its affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), in welcoming the release of NUSOJ´s Vice-President, Abdi Adan Guled.

The trade unionist and editor-in-chief of Xog-Ogaal daily newspaper was released on 18 October without charge. In a statement following the arrest, NUSOJ expressed the belief that Guled was arrested for his union work.

Abdi Adan Guled was arrested on 15 October around 20hrs local time at the daily´s premises in the capital, Mogadishu, by heavily armed officers of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), who also confiscatd materials, equipments and archives of the newspaper. Xog-Ogaal is the oldest and leading daily newspaper in Mogadishu.

"I am exhausted and I want to refrain from making any comments for the sake of my colleagues. I want to thank the team at our newspaper, my union colleagues, IFJ and international community who all stood up for my release," said Guled once he was freed.

"We welcome the release of our colleague Abdi Adan Guled and we join his famly and colleagues at Xog-Ogaal to celebrate this wonderful news," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "But he should not have been arrested in the first place. He committed no crime and his imprisonment was entirely unjust."

NISA informed him that the confiscated materials and equipment will be returned on 20 October.

Abdi Adan Gueld is a long-time trade union member and activist. He has been in the leadership of NUSOJ for the past 10 years. On 4 July, he was elected Vice-President of NUSOJ at the union´s statutory General Assembly held in Galkayo. 

IFJ and NUSOJ together condemned this arrest which is the latest in a series of hostile incidents that are putting the country´s journalists increasingly at risk and called on the authorities to guarantee their security so that they can do their job freely.

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

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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