Photo: Journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi. | Credit/ Facebook.
Photo: Journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi. | Credit/ Facebook.

MOGADISHU, Somalia 5 April, 2024 – The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) calls for the immediate and unconditional freedom of journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi who is detained in Luuq district of Gedo region since 1 April 2024.

Mohamud, who freelances for the Nairobi-based humanitarian Radio Ergo, was detained on 1 April following a social media post that exposed the alleged injury of two local men who are tuk tuk drivers and shot by local police over unpaid ‘fees’ demanded by the police.

According to colleagues interviewed by SJS and voice messages we reviewed, Mohamud had been threatened with severe punishment after his post on Facebook, which he later deleted. Upon arrest on 1 April by the local police in Luuq,he was handed over to the Ethiopian forces in the town.

Radio Ergo also reported that the journalist was transferred to the custody of the Ethiopian forces in the region.

Journalists in the region and the Radio Ergo editor told SJS that they are now concerned about Mohamud’s situation, as his family was denied access to see him. There are reports indicating that he was beaten in the cells where he is being held.

SJS condemns this continued arbitrary detention of journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi. We also share the concerns of colleagues at Radio Ergo regarding the safety and well-being of journalist Mohamud.

“We are extremely concerned about the well-being of journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi held indisclosed location in Luuq district, of Somalia’s Gedo region. We call upon the local Gedo regional administration, the Luuq district officials, and the Ethiopian forces in the region to release the journalist immediately and unconditionally and allow him to carry out his journalistic duties without any further threats,” said SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Mumin. “We also demand an investigation into the officers who allegedly beat the journalist and hold them accountable.”