MOGADISHU, Somalia 17 February, 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and Somali Media Association (SOMA) deplore the brutal attack of the Turkish-trained Haramcad police force against journalists covering militants attack in Mogadishu on Wednesday 16 February 2022.
Around 9:00am on Wednesday, a group of local journalists went to report car bombing and gunfight attack on several police stations and security checkpoints in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu the night before. According to the journalists and photos from the scene, the Haramcad police unit under their commander, Abdihamid Abdullahi Fanah, attacked the journalists. Journalists told SJS and SOMA that they had managed to escape on foot, however four TV journalists: Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan Yusuf of Somali Cable TV and Aweys Mohamud Jila’ow and Mohamud Bari of Five Somali TV were captured by the Haramcad officers and beaten with the barrel of the gun and wooden sticks that contain nails. Two of them Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan sustained injuries.
The four journalists told SJS and SOMA that they were detained, their phones and camera equipment confiscated as they were escorted to a police vehicle while blindfolded. After a short drive, they were brought to another location, ordered to lie on the ground under the open sun with their hands and legs tied. They were released at 2:30pm local time on Wednesday.
The journalists’ phones and camera equipment were later returned back to them. However, they told SJS and SOMA that their phones were erased.
Mogadishu police spokesman, Abdifatah Adan, apologised for the incident and claimed that officers who attacked the journalists were under investigation despite presenting no evidence.
SJS and SOMA strongly condemn the brutal and violent act against the four reporters who were carrying out their journalistic duties of informing the public. We demand accountability for this violence against the four journalists. No police officer should act beyond the rule of law.
“We strongly condemn the violent and brutal attack of the Haramcad police officers against Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan of Somali Cable TV and Aweys Mohamud Jila’ow and Mohamud Bari of Five Somali TV on Wednesday in Mogadishu. These journalists were conducting their normal duties when they were brutally attacked by the commander of Haramcad police unit and his officers,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said.
“Wanton violence on journalists must not go away with impunity if Somali federal government and its local authorities are genuine about ending impunity for crimes against journalists. Perpetrators are well-known officers and they must be held accountable for their crimes against journalists,” added Mumin.
“We strongly condemn the intimidation and inhumane treatment against the four independent journalists by Haramcad police on Wednesday. Attacks on journalists have been recurring and the attackers are not held accountable. That must end,” Mohamed Osman Makaran, the Secretary General of Somali Media Association (SOMA) said.
The commander of Haramcad police unit, Abdihamid Abdullahi Fanah, was the key officer responsible for the raid on Radio Mustaqbal in Mogadishu on 27 April 2021.