(From left to right) SJS officials Mohamed Bulbul, Hanad Ali Guled and lawyer Abdirahman Hassan Omar.
(From left to right) SJS officials Mohamed Bulbul, Hanad Ali Guled and lawyer Abdirahman Hassan Omar. | PHOTO/SJS.

MOGADISHU, Somalia 24 December 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of three SJS officials at the Aden Adde International Airport by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and the attack against Arlaadi Media Network’s news editor in Mogadishu on Saturday 24 December.

On Saturday, NISA agents led by Mahad Carab Dhiblawe stopped and later detained SJS human rights and information secretary, Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul, SJS training secretary Hanad Ali Guled and SJS lawyer Abdirahman Hassan Omar while they were preparing to board a flight early morning to attend journalists training in Hiiraan region. They were held and interrogated at NISA office within the airport for two hours when they were all released but have missed their flight.

Around 6:00am on Saturday, Arlaadi Media Network’s news editor, Aweys Bashir Abdirahman was attacked and beaten by three men at around KM4 area in Mogadishu while walking to his media station. According to Aweys, he was among four pedestrians when one of the attackers who was armed with AK47 singled him out and dragged him to the street corner. “They were all in plain-clothes. They stopped me and held my hands towards by back and started beating me with the gun. They were threatening me with shooting and as they were referring my news reporting about Southwest State. They took my phone before they drove towards KM4 junction just past the police guarding the criminal investigation department (CID),” Aweys told SJS.

Arlaadi Media Network's news editor, Aweys Bashir Abdirahman. | PHOTO/Courtesy.
Arlaadi Media Network’s news editor, Aweys Bashir Abdirahman. | PHOTO/Courtesy.

Journalists at Arlaadi Media Network have previously reported threats and persecution for critically reporting on the Southwest regional authorities. On Friday, Southwest State security forces clashed the opposition clan forces in Baidoa over the regional president’s term dispute.

When the journalist run to the police offices at the nearby CID, officers said they could not risk chasing the armed men and instructed to call the police emergency number. “When I called the number, the person responding said they were unable to track the armed men.”

“We condemn the ongoing harassment and the brief detention against our officials including the incident at the Mogadishu airport on Saturday. We call for the top government officials to carryout prompt investigation into the case and bring those involved to justice. Only accountability can ensure the safety of the journalists,” SJS President, Mohamed Ibrahim said “We also condemn the armed assailants that targeted Arlaadi Media Network journalist Aweys Bashir Abdirahman this morning in Mogadishu. This attack and others against the media professionals in Somalia should be thoroughly and honestly investigated and perpetrators should be held accountable.”