Mogadishu Airport off-limits for 60 days, Somalia warns journalists ahead of poll

Journalists have been barred from covering any events at Aden Adde Airport in the next 60 days failure to which they will be prosecuted and banned from all airports in the country, airport authorities have warned.

In a terse statement Thursday, airport security director Abdi Askir Jama said the decision to bar the media from the facility was informed by security reasons ahead of the elections which are slated to start from this weekend.

“Because of security concerns, the administration of Aden Adde International Airport has banned all media organisations, both private and public from entering the Airport for 60 days,” the statement read.

Jama said those who fail to adhere to the decree will face court fines, imprisonment and a total ban from all airports. “Anyone ignore this ban will face legal punishment, including imprisonment and fine,” the security chief said.

But the National Union of Journalists has condemned the decree as disappointing and regrettable. “Journalists cover elections and the airport is one of the main news sources particularly as candidates arrive into the country,” said Mohamed Moalim, NUSOJ secretary general.

The decision follows an order by Interior Ministry last week banning all political rallies in the city.

Elections of the Lower House members is set for September 24 running through to October 10.

 

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