Abdirahman Jeylani Mohamed (known as Adani), the Director of Arladi Media Network, who is also SJS member is pictured during SJS a recent journalists' training. | PHOTO Credit /SJS.
Abdirahman Jeylani Mohamed (known as Adani), the Director of Arladi Media Network, who is also SJS member is pictured during SJS a recent journalists' training. | PHOTO Credit /SJS.

MOGADISHU, Somalia 18 October 2023 – The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) has voiced its apprehension regarding the summons and questioning of the director of Arladi Media Network, Abdirahman Jeylani Mohamed (known as Adani), who is also an SJS member, by the Attorney General of Somalia in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

At approximately 10:00 am on Wednesday, Abdirahman Adani appeared before the Office of the Attorney General, where he was interrogated for 30 minutes. SJS representatives accompanying him were instructed to wait outside the Attorney General’s office while Abdirahman Adani was questioned within.

The interrogation focused on Arlaadi Media Network reports concerning payments allegedly imposed by local authorities on the people of Wajid, a district in Bakool region, Southwest State, whose residents have been struggling with besieging imposed by Al-Shabaab. The report which was aired by Arlaadi Media Network on 23 September 2023.

SJS expresses concern that Abdirahman was denied the presence of his lawyer during the questioning at the Prosecutor’s Office. Abdirahman told SJS that the Prosecutor’s questions were aimed at intimidating him.

SJS strongly emphasizes that journalism is not a crime. The utilization of the Prosecutor’s Office, along with the threat of criminal charges, to intimidate journalists and stifle the free media is unacceptable. This action violates the Somali Constitution and international laws safeguarding freedom of speech and media.

The summoning of Arlaadi Media Network’s director to the Prosecutor’s Office occurred just 24 hours after the burial of Somali Cable TV director, the late Abdifatah Moalim Nur (Qeys), who was killed in a suicide attack on Monday night. This killing has instilled fear and uncertainty among Somali media community.

SJS urges the Office of the Attorney General to cease its targeting of journalists and media institutions that critically report matters of public interest. The Prosecutor should redirect its efforts towards investigating those responsible for attacks against journalists, including the numerous unresolved cases of our colleagues, the most recent being Abdifatah Moalim Nur (Qeys), who was killed on Monday.

“We are deeply concerned that the Office of the Attorney General of Somalia is being exploited to intimidate and threaten journalists like Abdirahman Jeylani Mohamed, merely because the media outlet he works for has been critical of authorities in the Southwest State of Somalia,” said SJS Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin. “As this unfolded today, we are still mourning the tragic loss of our colleague, the director of Somali Cable TV, Abdifatah Moalim Nur (Qeys), who was killed in a suicide bombing attack on Monday. The same Attorney General who summoned and questioned Abdirahman Adani is unable to investigate and bring the perpetrators who killed Abdifatah Qeys to justice. That is a clear message: Somali authorities are not willing to end the issue of impunity for crimes against journalists.”

“We earnestly implore the Office of the Attorney General to wield its authority to investigate the killers of journalists and put an end to impunity so that journalists can operate in a safe environment. This is what our country needs and should be a top priority for Somali authorities,” Mumin added.