News from Africa

Somali Police detain a Journalist, Summon another for Questioning

Press Freedom

Té / 12 January 2013

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests the arrest of a broadcast journalist by the Somali Police on 10 January, 2013 without court orders and call for his immediate release.

Somali police detained Abdulasis Abdinuur Ibrahim (Abdiasis Koronto) who works for Radio Ergo based in Nairobi and the Mogadishu based Dalsan Radio and stringer to Daily Telegraph on Thursday afternoon, after receiving a call from the CID chief, Gen. Abdullahi Hassan Barise ordering him to the CID headquarters. The journalist was accused of interviewing a woman who said that she was raped by the members of the Somali army. The CID also questioned Omar Faruk, a Somali journalist who reports to AlJazeera Arabic. After questioning, he was told that he was free to go.

"I received a phone call this afternoon from the number of the woman I interviewed, but, It was Gen. Barise, the CID chief and told me to come to the CID headquarters." Journalist Abdulasis Abdinur Ibrahim told NUSOJ via phone interview, "When I came to the CID, I saw the woman, who was the rape victim and the lady who introduced to her, I was asked if I interviewed this lady and I said, Yes, I interviewed, later I was told that I was under arrest."

According to Abdulasis Koronto, he interviewed the victim on January 6, 2013 and said in her interview that she was gun raped by five members of the Somali army on September last year. The journalist also further confirmed that he did not publish the interview on any media outlet yet.

The police arrested in addition to the journalist, the rape victim and the lady who introduced the journalist to her. All of them are held at the CID headquarters, although, police sources confirm that the rape victim was released on Thursday evening for ill health and will be returning to the CID on Friday morning.

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests the arrest of the journalist and call for the Somali police to give the journalist’s freedom back. NUSOJ also noted positive investigative stories are meant to shed light to the Somali people and government abstract things that needs government’s swift response in rectifying the said things.

"If the journalist would have published the interview of the raped woman, it would have had meant shedding light for the police to react the rape activities going on." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "But, It was not for the police to arrest the journalist as it constitutes a violation to the freedom expression and human rights as guaranteed by the Provisional Federal Constitution."

"We call for the Somali police to respect the freedom of expression and give the journalist’s freedom back." Mr. Ibrahim added.

On January 6, 2013, the Aljazeera English run a featured story titled on "Rape flourishes in Mogadishu’s IDP camps" authored by a Somali female journalist, Leila Ali, based in Nairobi Kenya.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)

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