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Somali intelligence officers detain radio editor in Mogadishu

Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns the arrest of Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur, the editor of the independent privately-owned Radio Hiigsi by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) around 11.30 a.m on Saturday 29 February, 2020 in Mogadishu.

NISA officers arrested Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur (better known as Abuuja) on his way to the radio station, according to Hussein Ahmed Tifow, the Director of Radio Hiigsi who spoke to SJS.   Colleagues told SJS that Mr.  Nuur was arrested over a critical editorial articlequestioning the ethical behaviour of the security forces which also criticised the use of disproportionate powers of the army during operations which was broadcast on Radio Hiigsiand also published on its social media platforms on 26 February 2020.

“Shortly before he was arrested, I spoke to Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur and he told me he was coming to the radio station. Around 2.p.m his father informed us that he was arrested by NISA,” Hussein Ahmed Tifow, Director of Hiigsi Radio told SJS.

The journalist’s father Abdiwahab Nuur Mahdi told SJS that after several attempts to locate his son, he later learnt that he was held at the notorious NISA detention Godka Jila’ow in Mogadishu.  The father also told SJS that he was refused to see his son when he visited Godka Jila’ow Prison on Sunday.

“I went to Shibis Police Station and he was not held there.  On Sunday at 9.a.m I went to Godka Jila’ow to see my son but the officers refused me to access. Mohamed is a father of three young kids and I am worried about his situation,” Abdiwahab Nuur Mahdi said.

Family and colleagues also told SJS that there were no charges brought against journalist Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur despite being in detention for more than 24hours.

Senior police officials did not comment when contacted by SJS on Sunday mid-day while a senior officer at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said they were not aware of the arrest of the journalist.

Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) is concerned about the continued detention of journalist Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur and calls for his unconditional freedom.

“We condemn the arrest of Radio Hiigsi Editor, Mohamed Abdiwahab Nuur in the strongest terms possible and call for his immediate and unconditional release,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said, “This arrest and similar others represent the looming condition of the state of press freedom and freedom of expression in Somalia and we demand from the Somali authorities to give journalists safe environment, which is free from all kinds of threats including arrests similar to this, where they can practice their profession without fear of reprisals whenever they criticise or question authorities and the security services.”

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