Somaliland detains BBC Media Action employees as Somali police spokesman threatens journalists protecting police operations in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia 25 July 2022 – The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) name on Somaliland authorities to cease the threats and harassment of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) employees and journalists in Hargeisa; unconditionally launch 5 members of the BBC Media Action workforce arbitrarily detained in Hargeisa on Saturday and permit the BBC to renew operations.

On Saturday, Hargeisa cops raided the workplace of BBC Media Action in Hargeisa and detained 5 workers: Mohammed Gaas, journalist Abdullahi Jama, Samatar Gahnuug and movie editor Ahmed Fa’iz and their transport supervisor Yahye Ali, earlier than closing the workplace.

There have been no rapid explanations from Somaliland authorities concerning the raid of the BBC Media Action workplace and the detention of its employees. However, Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Suleyman Yusuf Ali (Koore) issued a two-page letter to the Foreign Minister accusing the “BBC of losing its neutrality in its news and programs on political issues”. The transfer follows an unlawful choice. Tuesday bans BBC Somali Service from working in Somaliland.

Separately, SJS and SOMA are involved by the brand new directives issued by Somali police spokesman Major Abdifatah Adan Hassan, who threatens authorized motion towards any reporter protecting police operations for reporting what he described as “to report anything beyond questions that were required that day”. We name on the Somali police drive to intervene and withdraw the brand new directive imposed by its spokesperson, which just isn’t solely illegitimate but additionally a menace to the work of journalists protecting police operations amid elevated crime and terrorist actions in Mogadishu.

“We condemn the arbitrary detention of the five BBC Media Action staff on Saturday and the closure of their office in Hargeisa. All were carrying out their work legally and there is no reason to justify the detention of these five media staff who do . their jobs legally,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the secretary common of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS). “We call on the Somaliland authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all BBC Media Action staff from police custody. Somaliland must cease its attacks aimed at pressuring and intimidating BBC journalists.”

“It is appalling that Somaliland authorities have resorted to attacking and threatening BBC journalists at a time when the public is desperate for neutral and balanced information amid the controversy over the delayed presidential election now scheduled for November,” Mohamed Osman Makaran, Secretary General. of the Somali Media Association (SOMA) mentioned: “We demand the immediate freedom of all BBC Media Action staff detained in Hargeisa.”

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