Somalia: Arrests of soldiers over torturing two journalists deal a major blow to impunity

On Sunday, 24 March, Somali authorities arrested two soldiers and officially charged them for torturing and threatening journalists Abdullahi Dahir Abdi and Said Warsame Sabriye of Dhanbaal. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Somali affiliate, The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), have today welcomed the arrests and demanded an independent and transparent trial.

IFJ

According to the investigation, the soldiers Ali Adan Abdi Gaab and Sakariye Hassan Ibaar of Somali National Army (SNA) tied the hands and the feet of the two journalists behind their back and forced them to lie down on their chests on 18 February 2019 in Mogadishu’s Hodan district. The journalists were also subjected to other forms of torture. Both soldiers are being held at Mogadishu’s central prison, awaiting trial.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The arrest of two soldiers for torturing journalists is a good step in the fight against impunity, but more needs to be done. We demand a transparent trial, free from political interference, to guarantee justice for our colleagues. Governments need to protect journalists and tackle impunity globally and a UN Convention on the safety and protection of journalists would provide better safeguards for media workers”.

Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General, said: “This case sets a positive precedence for the fight for the safety of journalists, protection of media freedom and the fight against impunity. It sends a clear message to those who abuse journalists that wearing official uniform does not place anyone above the law”.

NUSOJ will monitor closely the trial", added Osman.

 

 

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

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