MOGADISHU, Somalia, 14 April 2024 – The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns the acts of sabotage and breaches of privacy targeted at its bank accounts, aimed at hindering the organisation’s operations.

On Saturday, 13 April 2024, SJS received an email notification from the local bank indicating that SJS bank accounts were “frozen” following a letter issued by the Banadir Regional Court ordering “the freeze of SJS bank accounts” and “investigation into our financial transactions”.

Despite seeking clarification, both written and oral, no response was provided. On Sunday, SJS lawyers visited the court to seek further information, but once again, no explanation was given.

The court letter, dated 9 April 2024 and signed by Judge Shueyb Malin Adan, states that “SJS is not a registered organization.” Additionally, the letter orders the Office of the Attorney General to “investigate the individuals involved in the SJS accounts, including SJS Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin.”

Interestingly, the letter was never directly sent to SJS; instead, its addressees were the Premier Bank and the Office of the Attorney General. Nevertheless, SJS offices remain open.

While we continue to assess these developments, SJS understands that this action follows the recent submission of a legal case against the Somali Government to the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of SJS and its Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin which awaits a decision.

“SJS condemns the continued persecution and threats against its staff and officials. We also condemn the breach of privacy of SJS management staff. As of yet, there has been no official communication informing SJS of any court case. However, should there be one, we are willing to respond and our lawyers are on standby,” said SJS President Mohamed Ibrahim.

SJS is and will remain the sole champion of press freedom and human rights in Somalia. We will never be intimidated or stopped by any kind of threats. Rest assured, in the face of these challenges, we stand as an unwavering beacon of truth and accountability.