Press conference by SJS and SOMA leadership in Mogadishu on 05 July, 2020.
Press conference by SJS and SOMA leadership in Mogadishu on 05 July, 2020. | Photo: SJS.

MOGADISHU, Somalia 05 July, 2020 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and Somali Media Association (SOMA) jointly call for the protection of the safety of the journalists and freedom of the press amid an increased violence by state actors against independent media and journalists in Somalia and Somaliland.

On Sunday 05 July, armed police attacked and blocked journalists from the independent media houses: Universal TV, Radio Kulmiye, Radio Risaala and Dalsan TV, as they were covering an opposition protest at Daljirka area in Mogadishu. The police confiscated equipment from Universal TV journalists and even threatened with shooting. The equipment was later returned, according to Universal TV’s editor.

On Saturday, police officer slapped journalist Fu’ad Mohamud Mohamed of Radio Risaala forcing him to stop filming on the scene of a car bombing in Hamar Jajab District in Mogadishu. 

Last week, the Banadir Regional Court issued an order summoning Goobjoog Media journalist, Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye to appear before the Court on Tuesday next week. Gurbiye was arrested on 14 April and was released on bail after he wrote an article alleging that Somali president took a donated ventilator from Covid-19 hospital in Mogadishu.   We call for Somali Attorney General and Somali President’s Office to drop their charges against Gurbiye.

Meanwhile SJS and SOMA are extremely concerned by the continued arbitrary detention of Radio Hiigsi’s editor, Mohamed Abduwahab Nuur (Abuuja) who remains imprisoned since March 7 without charges due to his article deemed critical to the security forces.

We jointly call the Somali Federal Government to allow Radio Gedo to resume its operations following its closure by officers from the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) on 28 June and establish an independent and honest investigation into shooting against Radio Danan journalist, Abdifatah Abduqadir Sharif who was shot and injured by a police officer on 25 June.

We also jointly condemn the recent crackdown on the independent media in Somaliland and call for authorities in Somaliland to allow Universal TV and Star TV to resume their operations without any condition.