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NUSOJ Demands Immediate Release of Journalist Detained by NISA in Brazen Assault on Press Freedom

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17 April 2024: The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) vehemently condemns the arbitrary arrest and overnight detention of independent journalist Hussein Abdulle Mohamed by National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) operatives at the Godka Jilicow detention centre, following his broadcast of in-depth and critical reports on his online channel, SYL Somali TV, accessible via Facebook.

Reports indicate that the new leadership at NISA took issue with a series of well-informed and detailed reports produced by Mr. Mohamed in recent days, which disclosed sensitive internal dealings within the intelligence agency. Colleagues of Mr. Mohamed have disclosed that prior to his detention, there was a meeting involving him and the senior leadership of NISA.

Hussein Abdulle Mohamed is widely respected for his fearless journalism and unwavering commitment to truth, attributes that have unfortunately made him a target. NUSOJ demands the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Mohamed, who is currently detained solely on the basis of his professional journalistic activities. His unjust detention represents not only a personal attack but also a severe impediment to the practice of free and independent journalism in Somalia.

“In no uncertain terms, we reject and strongly denounce the illegal arrest and ongoing detention of Hussein Abdulle Mohamed. The action taken by the secret services to target a working journalist is reprehensible and wholly unacceptable. We demand his immediate release,” stated Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of NUSOJ.

This incident is part of a disturbing pattern of behaviour by NISA, which grossly violates press freedom and marks a blatant disregard for journalistic rights. These actions constitute clear and inexcusable violations of media freedom in Somalia.

“We call on NISA to abandon its reversion to the old, brutal and oppressive tactics employed against journalists who dare to perform their duties of independent and critical reporting. Press freedom is a fundamental pillar of Somalia’s journey towards democracy and must be upheld to guarantee a free and informed society,” added Osman.

NUSOJ stands firmly with Hussein Abdulle Mohamed and all journalists in Somalia facing similar threats, advocating tirelessly for their right to report without fear of retribution.