The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the news that journalist Mukhtar Mohamed Atosh, reporter for Voice of America -Somali Service (VOA), has been freed on bail following an arrest that prompted national and international condemnation for just reporting on a rape case.
Mukhtar Mohamed Atosh, who was arrested on 20 April 2020, was released on bail, following the intervention of the Speaker of the Parliament of Southwest State Ambassador Ali Said Faqi who has conferred with the President of Southwest State Abdulaziz Hassan Mohamed (Laftagaren).
“It is welcome news that Mukhtar Atosh is out of prison. We continue to maintain that Atosh is innocent and all he was doing was his legitimate journalistic work, and we are grateful to all who extended solidarity to him and advocated for his release,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
NUSOJ wants charges levelled against Atosh to be dropped entirely as they are directly linked to his legitimate activity as a journalist and calls for local journalists to be allowed to pursue their journalistic work without any intimidations.
Southwest Attorney General yesterday preferred serious charges against Mukhtar Mohamed Atosh, a member of NUSOJ Executive Committee. Atosh still faces following criminal charges:
- Penal Code Article 271: Offence against the authorities by means of Damaging information
- Penal Code Article 326: Intimidation of the Public
- Penal Code Article 327: Giving False Alarm to Authorities
- Penal Code Article 328: Publication or circulation of false, exaggerated or tendentious news of capable of disturbing public order