The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) strongly protested today the arrest and detention of two radio journalists in central Somalia.
Journalist Abdijamal Moallin Ahmed, reporter of Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) in Dhusamareb district, the capital of Galguduud region of central Somalia, was arrested on Tuesday morning with another journalist Bashir Mohamed Salad who works for Idaacada Codka Gobolada Dhexe (Radio Voice of Central regions). The journalists were arrested by Ahlusunna Waljamaa (ASWJ), Islamist militia group in this region.
The motive behind the arrest is related to news reports that the two journalists made about the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from El-buur and Mahas districts. Ahlusunna Waljamaa (ASWJ) militias were infuriated by these reports which they did not want the media to report "because the reports encouraged Al-Shabaab terrorist militia to return to Dhusamareb", according to ASWJ official.
"We are very concerned about the arrest and detention of Abdijamal Moallin Ahmed and Bashir Mohamed Salad. They are professional journalists and we know no crime they have committed. We tried to contact regional administration of Ahlusunna Waljamaa but we found no one that speaks to us with responsibility," said Mowlid Haji Abdi, Managing Director of SBC.
"These journalists were simply doing their job," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "They should not be arrested just because they covered the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops. The legitimate and necessary fight against terrorism can never justify such violations of media freedom and we urge Ahlusunna Waljamaa to release them immediately and unconditionally."