News from Africa

Somali Journalists Call for the Kenyan Government to Free detained Somali Journalists

Press Freedom

Témoignages.re / 2 October 2012

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the Kenyan government to safely release three television journalists who the Kenyan police arrested at the Eastliegh neighborhood in Nairobi on Sunday 30 September 2012.

The Journalists, Abdifitah Mohamed Elmi TV presen ter, Abdiaziz Ibrahim Ali cameraman, Ahmed Abdirahman Heybe HCTV Nairobi branch director.all whom work for the Somali Television based in the United Kingdom, were arrested on Sunday 30 September, 2012 around 2:00pm local time, amid the journalists were covering a grenade attack on the Anglican St. Polycarp church at Juja road Pangani on the outskirts of the Eastleigh neighborhood in Nairobi. The grenade attack killed at least one person and wounded more than 5 others.

The exiled Somali journalists in Nairobi have fled from their hometown of Somalia to Nairobi in search for safety after witnessing their colleague killed in front of them, death threats, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and other press freedom violations as documented by the National Union of Somali Journalists and live in Nairobi as refugees and the majority of them can not afford to have work permits, while otherwise the journalist have considered Kenya, a safe-haven whereby they are to continue their work as journalists.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the Kenyan government to safely release the journalists as the journalists are in custody for second day.

“We call for the Kenyan government to free the three journalists immediately without further delay.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “They are innocent journalists who have sought safety for Kenya as refugees and are compelled to work in Nairobi to survive.”

“On behalf of the Somali Journalists, I call for the Somali government and all concerned governments and Human and freedom of expression entities to assistfacilitate the detained journalist gain their freedom back.”

Somali journalists have started returning to Somalia, especially Mogadishu since last year, when the Somali government and the African Union peacekeepers drove the Shabab, a militant group affiliated to Al-Qaeda, out of Mogadishu followed by a relative peace.

The Somali journalists remain targeted and their killers remain unpunished. 2012 alone, 15 journalists have been killed in Somalia, making the profession a deadly profession.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)

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