The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) takes exception to the torture and inhuman treatment against journalists as they covered the aftermath of an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Mogadishu’s Kahda district last night.
Four journalists namely SomaliCable TV journalists Mohamed Yusuf Hassan (reporter) and Ismail Mohamed Musse (cameraman) as well as Five TV journalists Aweys Mohamud Jilaow (Director of Mogadishu Office) and Mohamed Ali Abdi Baari (Cameraman) were rounded up by the Haram’ad (Cheetah) Squad of the Somali Police Force (SPF) as they went about gathering information from residents about the last night’s attack.
The journalists were viciously subjected to physical torture which involved blindfolds, removal of part of their clothing and having their arms tied to their legs in the infamous and extremely painful two-piece style of torture. They were then left exposed laying on the ground under the hot sun.
“We condemn this brutal, barbaric and heinous attack on journalists in the line of duty and the inhumane treatment they were subjected to by officers of the uniformed services. We demand for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of all officers involved in this illegal conduct which further soils the reputation of the police service and entire security forces,” said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
“This act is not negotiable and we expect immediate action by the Haram’ad (Cheetah) Squad’s superiors or SPF. The attack on journalists is also a slap in the face, coming just days after the historic conviction of the killers of veteran journalist Jamal Farah Adan by the Puntland military court in Mudug,” Osman added.
The right of the public to information is protected and journalists are known as facilitators of the enjoyment of this right. They should be protected and facilitated to carry out their duties without fear for their safety from any quarter.