Somalia: Journalists Brutalised, Their Gadgets Confiscated in Mogadishu

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns the brutal methods by officials of Mogadishu Municipality against two journalists, and calls on the authorities to ensure that this violence does not go unpunished.

Safia Osman Abdulle, reporter for TV and Radio of Shabelle Media Network and Abdulkadir Ga'al, Cameraman for Shabelle TV, were aggressively attacked in this morning by officials of Mogadishu's Waberi district. Safia Abdulle was attacked with stone by a Department Director of Waberi District, causing serious head wound. Other Waberi district officials similarly started beating up Cameraman Abdulkadir Ga'al and confiscated the video camera, voice recorders and mobile phones.

The two journalists had gone to cover women protesting against the Waberi District Commissioner for lack of payment of their salaries and allowances while the local officials did not want the journalists to cover the protest. Safia Osman Abdulle was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

"We denounce this broad daylight brutality and call on the Mayor and Governor of Mogadishu as well as law enforcement authorities to swiftly intervene and take appropriate actions against the individuals implicated in these acts" said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "If the authorities do not act on this, we will make sure that justice is served to the affected journalists".

Officers of Waberi district should be protecting journalists, not attacking them. NUSOJ believes the abusive officials need to face the full force of the law so that such violent attacks do not happen again.

"News of grievances of protestors cannot be addressed or suppressed through such acts of violence and brutality against journalists on duty as this simply throttles media freedom," stated Osman.

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