Turkish-trained Somali police attack independent journalists covering al-Shabaab attack in Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU (AXADLE) Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and Somali Media Association (SOMA) deplore the brutal attack by the Turkish-trained Haramcad police force against journalists covering militant attacks in Mogadishu on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.

Around 9am on Wednesday, a group of local journalists went to report car bombing and gunfire at several police stations and security checkpoints in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu the night before. According to the journalists and the photos from the scene, the Haramcad police unit under their boss, Abdihamid Abdullahi Fanah, attacked the journalists. Journalists told SJS and SOMA that they had managed to escape on foot, but four TV journalists: Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan Yusuf from Somali cable TV and Aweys Mohamud Jila’ow and Mohamud Bari from Five Somali TV were caught by Haramcad officers and beaten with gun barrels and wooden sticks containing nails. Two of them Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan sustained injuries.

The four journalists told SJS and SOMA that they were detained, their phones and camera equipment confiscated when they were escorted to a blindfolded police vehicle. After a short drive, they were taken to another location, ordered to lie on the ground under open sun with their hands and legs tied. They were released at 2.30pm local time on Wednesday.

The journalists’ phones and camera equipment were later returned to them. But they told SJS and SOMA that their phones had been deleted.

Mogadishu police spokesman Abdifatah Adan apologized for the incident, claiming that officers attacking the journalists were under investigation despite failing to provide evidence.

SJS and SOMA strongly condemn the brutal and violent act against the four journalists who performed their journalistic duties of informing the public. We demand responsibility for this violence against the four journalists. No police officer should act beyond the rule of law.

“We strongly condemn the violent and brutal attacks by Haramcad police officers against Ismail Mohamed Muse and Mohamed Hassan from Somali Cable TV and Aweys Mohamud Jila’ow and Mohamud Bari from Five Somali TV on Wednesday in Mogadishu. These journalists performed their normal duties when they were brutally attacked by the head of Haramcad’s police unit and his officers, “said Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

“Vanton violence against journalists must not go away with impunity if the Somali federal government and its local authorities are genuine in putting an end to impunity for crimes against journalists. The perpetrators are well-known officers and they must be held accountable for their crimes against journalists. , “Moomin added.

“We strongly condemn the intimidation and inhuman treatment of the four independent journalists carried out by Haramcad police on Wednesday. Attacks on journalists have been recurring and the attackers have not been held accountable. It must stop,” said Mohamed Osman Makaran, general secretary of Somali. The Media Association (SOMA) said.

The commander of Haramcad’s police unit, Abdihamid Abdullahi Fanah, was the key officer in charge of the raid on Radio Mustaqbal in Mogadishu on April 27, 2021.

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