Somaliland releases journalist from incommunicado jail and holds three others in jail

MOGADISHU (AXADLE) Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and Somali Media Association (SOMA) welcome the release of freelance journalist Abdisalan Ahmed Awad, who was kept incommunicado since April 3, 2022, as we express concern over the decision to hold three other journalists at the central prison.

The journalist was released from custody on Wednesday morning without charge. Somaliland intelligence officers detained and beat him on April 3 from his home in Hargeisa after he filed complaints against the intelligence officers who attacked and wounded him and another journalist on March 18 in Hargeisa.

Abdisalan was detained at an illegal detention facility operated by Somaliland’s National Intelligence Service in Hargeisa.

On March 18, armed officers from Somaliland’s intelligence unit Abdisalan Ahmed Awad and his colleague Ali Mahdi Jibril attacked and shot as they drove from a hotel in the center of the capital Hargeisa. Abdisalan sustained injuries due to beatings by officers. The attackers loudly told reporters that they should “stop their critical coverage” of President Muse Bihi Abdi. Unfortunately, when the journalist filed a complaint against the Somaliland intelligence officers, he was again arrested and held incommunicado. It told local human rights defenders and journalists SJS and SOMA that the intelligence unit that carried out this attack was led by Ahmed Muse, son of President Muse Bihi Abdi.

“We are relieved to hear that the journalist, Abdisalan Ahmed Awad, is at large after 17 days in custody. He was not charged and the authorities are not willing to tell why they had detained this journalist in the first place,” he said. says Abdalle Ahmed Moomin. The General Secretary of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said: “We urge the Somaliland authorities to investigate and be held accountable to its intelligence officers who attacked the journalists on March 18 and detained and detained journalist Abdisalan Ahmed Awad. No officer should act beyond the law . “

“Today, we welcome the freedom of our colleague Abdisalan Ahmed Awad. However, we express concern about the increased targeting of journalists in Somaliland. We call on the Somaliland authorities to stop the continued attacks on the free press,” said Mohamed Osman Makaran, secretary general of Somali Media Association (SOMA) said.

On the other hand, SJS and SOMA express serious concern about the move to detain three journalists – Mohamed Abdi Ilig (MM TV), Abdirahman Ali Khalif (Gobonimo TV) and Abdijabar Mohamed Hussein (Horn Cable TV) – in the central prison after they were transferred on Wednesday from the Criminal Department, where they have been detained since 13 April. We call on the Somaliland authorities to release these three journalists without delay and to stop the retaliation against them.

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