The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly condemns the brutal act in which Somali government soldiers publicly handcuffed and beaten up two local journalists in Mogadishu on Monday 18 February 2018 and barred a dozen of other journalists from independently reporting a news event invited them in the same day.
Journalists Said Warsame Sabriye and Abdullahi Dahir Abdi told NUSOJ that they were harassed and beaten by government’s soldiers while collecting vox pops from residents who have affected the Mogadishu city lockdown on Monday.
“It was around 11:30 AM local time, we were ordered to stop interviewing the people and lie down to the ground on gunpoint before they were handcuffed and beaten up us,” Warsame Sabriye said told NUSOJ.
“The military personnel were harassing us for about an hour and a half and then they handed over to us to the police, honestly speaking police treated us well and released us soon after ” Said Warsame Sabriye added.
Both journalists had worked together for Kulmiye radio in Mogadishu but now they have a private media production company called Dhambaal which focuses on mainly social issues.
NUSOJ denounces the unprofessional behaviour of the Somali government soldiers who carried the brutal physical attack against journalists who were carrying out their duties , and the union demands that the senior commanders of Somalia military as a matter of urgency commence reliable investigations that shall lead to disciplinary procedures against those who behind and involved in the harassment against journalists on Monday .
We are appalled by this senseless and cruel treatment of a working
journalist and we urge the Somali authorities to hold accountable the
soldiers involved,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu, Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) “The brutal behavior of
security forces towards journalists Said Warsame Sabriye and Abdullahi Dahir Abdi shows there is no end to media repression in Somalia” Moalimuu Told VOA Somali.
In a separate incident, a dozen of journalists were barred from covering a news event in which Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire laid a foundation stone for a Qatar-funded new road construction which lead to the Somalia’s capital Mogadishu
“We were invited at 6am to cover the event. We were waited until 1pm but the communication officer from Prime Minister’s Office arrived us and informed members of the independent press to leave away and informed they will later distribute to edited footage from the scene” Abdiaziz Ibrahim from Universal TV told NUSOJ .
Journalists who held a press conference later complained about what seems to be anincreasing censorship by members of the press team of the big government offices who forcibly instruct media houses to broadcast pre-edited clips instead of airing their journalists’ original content
Sometimes there is the same media coverage in the local media this rules out the diversity and better quality of contents in which the public would like to know and indeed it is kind of censorship
NUSOJ calls on Somalia’s government to respect the role of the media and allow immediate access to journalists to report on the news events to provide the puplic credible and they have right to know and verify sources of news .
NUSOJ welcomes the remarks and reactions of Somalia’s Minster of Information ,Culture and Tourism His Excellence Dahir Mohamud Guelle and Director of Information of Somalia President office Abdinur Mohamed Ahmed who seperately told media that they are ready and intrested to discuss with journalists and their union about what went wrong in order to take the necessary actions .