Alert: SJS colleague Mohamed Bulbul’s phone devices compromised during incommunicado detention

he Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) expresses profound concern over the apparent compromise of SJS Secretary of Information and Human Rights, Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul’s phone devices, a matter that has recently come to our attention.

Since his unlawful detention on 17 August, 2023, plain-clothed national intelligence officers confiscated Bulbul’s devices. Officers from the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had requested access to his devices, aiming to uncover the sources behind his recent investigative report exposing police corruption linked to a training seminar involving the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP Somalia). However, SJS vehemently rejected this unlawful demand.

We have been alerted by family members and friends of Bulbul who have been receiving calls and messages from Bulbul’s phones, with bizarre demands for transfer of payments. Furthermore, SJS has identified activity on Bulbul’s devices as recently as 18:48 local time on Tuesday 22 August, 2023.

“We are extremely troubled by the apparent compromise of our colleague Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul’s phone devices, conducted without his knowledge while he is held incommunicado for over 19 days in Mogadishu. We hereby caution all family members, friends, and anyone else receiving communication from our colleague’s phones, as well as monitoring his social media platforms including WhatsApp and Facebook,” said SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin.

“There is absolutely no justifiable reason for our detained colleague to demand transfer of payments. We firmly believe that those behind these demands, using Bulbul’s phone numbers and WhatsApp, are either police officers or members of the National Intelligence (NISA). They should be deeply ashamed of their actions and cease immediately,” Mumin emphasized. “Hacking or compromising an innocent journalist’s private communication in pursuit of news sources is illegal. The Somali Federal Constitution prohibits any such actions.”

SJS is additionally concerned that the police detaining Bulbul have sought to manipulate an email communication from EUCAP Somalia, according to media reports, seemingly aimed at implicating our colleague in retaliation for his news report exposing alleged police corruption.

SJS reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional freedom of our colleague Bulbul. He is held without formal charges. During his detention, he has been subjected to relentless forced interrogation, torture, and ill-treatment, while being denied access to his legal counsel and concerned family members who are concerned about his wellbeing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.