Mogadishu (Raxanreeb) — Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Somali Media Association (SOMA), Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) and Somali Mechanism for Safety of Journalists (SMSJ) condemn the Somalia government’s actions in bringing trumped up charges against Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and call for the office of the attorney general to drop these malicious charges. This is a clear attempt to criminalize journalism and to curtail freedom of expression and media freedoms.
On 16 October 2022, SJS Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, who has been in detention since October 11, was produced before the Benadir regional court for the second time in 3 days. According to Abdalle’s lawyers, prosecutors from the office of the Attorney General charged him under the Article 219 – Bringing the Nation or the State into contempt, Article 321- Instigation to disobey the laws and Article 505 – non-observance of orders of the authorities – of the Somali penal code.
During the appearance, the prosecutors requested the court to allow them to remind Abdalle for 45 days as they conclude investigations. The court released Abdalle on bail and asked the prosecutors to bring the evidence within 45 days.
Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Somali Media Association (SOMA), Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) and Somali Mechanism for Safety of Journalists (SMSJ) condemn these trumped-up charges against Abdalle Ahmed Mumin and call for the office of the Attorney general to drop these outrageous charges.
The union and the media advocacy groups believe that these charges are politically-motivated and are meant to send a chilling message to the independent media and threaten and intimidate other journalists to self-censorship, which can finally lead to news blackout.