Two Somali journalists arrested for reporting on police, 1 remains in custody

Nairobi, August 23, 2023—The Committee to Protect Journalists on Wednesday called on Somali authorities to unconditionally release journalist Mohamed Ibrahim Osman Bulbul and stop intimidating media covering the security sector.

On August 17, four plain-clothed security personnel arrested Mohamed, a reporter with the privately owned broadcaster Kaab TV, at Mogadishu University, where he studies part-time, according to a statement by the Somali Journalists Syndicate, a local press freedom group, where Mohamed also works as the secretary of information and human rights.

advertisementsThe men, who did not identify themselves or have an arrest warrant, punched Mohamed in the chest, hit him on the shoulder with the butt of a pistol, and forced him into an unmarked vehicle, according to Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, secretary general of the SJS, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

On Wednesday, SJS said on X, formerly Twitter, that Mohamed was being held at the Hamar Jajab police station in the capital, Mogadishu, and had not been granted access to a lawyer or his family.

Separately, on August 15, police in Dhusamareeb, the capital of central Galmudug state, arrested Goobjoog TV reporter Abdifatah Yusuf Beereed while he was interviewing regional police officers about their salaries, according to the Federation of Somali Journalists, a local press rights group, and Abdifatah, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

Abdifatah said he was detained overnight before being released without charge, with a warning to avoid such reporting in future. Abdifatah told CPJ that the police returned his camera on August 17, but forced him to delete his video interviews.

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