Somali journalists’ union president arrested on ‘security charges’

The Government of Somalia has assured this Thursday that the arrest of the president of the journalists’ union, Abdale Ahmed Mumin, derives from “charges related to security” and has underlined its commitment to freedom of expression in the African country.

Mumin was arrested on Tuesday after openly criticizing Mogadishu’s announced restrictions on coverage of al-Shabaab activities and the blocking of dozens of pages of the terrorist group’s propaganda.

The Somali Ministry of Information has indicated that “Mumin is in the hands of the Somali Police on security charges” and has stressed that “there are no charges against him that are related to his work as a journalist.”

Likewise, he stressed that he has asked the Prosecutor’s Office to “urgently present evidence of the reasons why this citizen is detained and to take the case through legal procedures as soon as possible.”

Finally, it has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to “the protection and preservation of freedom of expression and the independence of the media”, as well as “The protection of the rights of journalists and facilitating the carrying out of their duties and expressing their opinions freely, in line with the rules on the press and the laws of the country”.

For its part, the Somalia Journalists Union (SJS) has denounced that Mumin “remains in isolation” since Tuesday and added that “he has been transferred to the Criminal Investigations Department”, while warning against the presentation of ” false charges.”

The agency has demanded in a series of messages posted on its Twitter account the “immediate” release of Mumin and has denounced that “he is ill and has been denied the delivery of medicines during his detention in isolation.”

The SJS recently expressed concern about the government’s decisions against the “diffusion of extremist and terrorist ideology” and warned that “it could unduly limit the legitimate expression of opinions and freedom of the press in the country.”

In this regard, he stressed in a statement that “the vagueness of the order could limit the ability of journalists to report freely on operations against the armed group, which would limit the population’s access to information on security operations.”

Along these lines, he criticized the suspension of media and social media platforms for disseminating information related to Al Shabaab and recalled that it included Telegram, which “impacts not only ordinary Somalis, but casts doubt on the purpose of these restrictions. “.

Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by Al Shabaab, both in the capital and in other areas in the south of the country, which has led the president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to promise that he will focus his efforts on security during the first hundred days of his mandate.

Source: Europa Press.

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