The Federal Government announced in December 2018 that it was closing down the notorious Jilahow prison in Mogadishu as part of judicial reforms but Goobjoog News can now authoritatively reveal the prison which housed political prisoners during Siad Barre regime is still open and operational.
Investigations by Goobjoog News have established that the government reneged on its pledge to close the facility and transform it into a training centre for the intelligence agency, NISA.
During a ceremony presided by Justice and Security Ministers December 16, 2018, Security Minister Mohamed Islow announced an end to the jail’s infamy. The plan, the Minister said was to close the facility which became a nightmare for those who went against Siad Barre regime as part of reforms aimed at the justice, legal and police sectors.
Islow said families of suspects would from then on get information from police stations instead of the prison.
The planned closure came amid complaints by human rights organisations to close the facility which has been associated with torture, particularly of political detainees.
But impeccable sources have intimated to Goobjoog News the facility still houses inmates and that there were no signs of it being closed. “I can confirm, having seen with my own eyes that Jilahow prison is still functioning as a prison,” a source who was at the facility in December told Goobjoog News. The source did not wish to be named for security reasons.
Our investigations also reveal that the prison is being used by a division of NISA in charge of Banaadir Region for interrogation of terror suspects. However, a police officer told Goobjoog News he was not aware of the continued existence of the prison.
Senior government officials who did not wish to be named also confirmed that the prison had not been closed contrary to the government’s pledge.