Reporters Without Borders and Committee to Protect Journalists have separately condemned the arrest of Mogadishu based newspaper editor Abdi Aden Guled who was put behind bars two days ago by intelligence agencies.
The editor of Xog Ogaal, Guled was arrested during a raid by members of the National Intelligence Service Agency (NISA) on the newspaper’s Mogadishu headquarters on the evening of 15 October.
The media agencies called for immediate release of Guled who is in detention for a second day.
“We urge the Somali authorities to free Abdi Aden Guled without delay,” RSF said.
RSF slammed the raid of the forces saying “The security forces cannot keep taking justice into their own hands with complete impunity.”
Reporters Without Borders said, by raiding such an emblematic newspaper, the authorities have crossed a new threshold in their abusive treatment of journalists and media in Somalia.
“If there is a problem with something published, the judicial system should arbitrate,” noted RSF.
The Committee to Protect Journalists called for the release of Guled who is also the vice president of National Union of Somali Journalists, NUSOJ noting his arrest should be ’cause for serious international alarm.
“The arrest of Xog Ogaal‘s editor, Abdi Aden Guled, and the silencing of one of Somalia’s oldest newspapers should be cause for serious international alarm,” CPJ East Africa Representative Murithi Mutiga said. “Somali authorities must demonstrate that they continue to abide by their commitments to press freedom by releasing the journalist and allowing the newspaper to resume publication without delay.”
Earlier, National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemned the arrest and called for the release of the editor.
Founded in 1991, Xog-Ogaal is the longest running daily newspaper in Mogadishu.
It has survived the civil war between Mogadishu warlords and the war between the Somali government and al-Shabab militants in the city.
Somalia is ranked 167th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.