Somalia: Media Association of Puntland Welcomes the Release of the VOA Journalist

Published: January 8, 2010

The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) welcomes the decision by the Puntland


January, 07, 2010
The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) welcomes the decision by the Puntland Autonomous Government to release from custody Journalist Mohamed Yasin Isak, who was held in detention  at the different offices of the Puntland Intelligence Services (PIS) in Bossasso, Garowe and Galkayo Mr Isak since 20th December 2009. He was released from PIS custody in Bosaso yesterday, 6th January 2009 after being held without judge for 17 days.
Mr. Isak, a correspondent in Galkyo for the Voice of America Somalia section, was arrested after he reported on a crackdown by the government against the internally displaced people from Southern Somalia who the government of Puntland accuses of destabilizing Puntland and harboring the Al-shabab fighters. Mr.Isak interviewed members from internally displaced persons who were complaining the way government targeted them, which they said is collective punishment and they feel to be discriminated against the community they are living with.
Government has not given any information as to why Journalist Mohamed was kept in detention for17days without trial but the high profile officers from PIS who don not want to be named told MAP the order of arrest was issued by the President of Puntland, Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamoud. Media Association of Puntland view his detention as part of the on-going campaign by the Puntland authority of silencing independent press as tribulation for their journalistic work.
Mohmed Yasin Isak who recently recovered from a bullet wound after police man shot at Isak’s car at a checkpoint in front of the regional governor’s office in Galkayo town as one of the 15 bullets fired passed through his left shoulder on November 17, 2009. That the police officer who wounded the journalist has not been held accountable since now and continues his business as usual and this shows the extent of crime impunity that smashes up the rule of law and breaches constitutional protections for freedom of Expression and of the press.
The journalist was a target for the government since August 2009. He was briefly arrested or suspended with some other journalists several times in Puntland.
Media Association of Puntland demands the Puntland authority to stop all forms of intimidation against the journalists and media such as arbitrary detentions, suppression, harassment, censorship, and direct attacks by its police officers.  Targeting the journalists due to telling the truth is a crime against the rights of journalists and the freedom of Press as basic right of all humans.
We call the Puntland Government to respect and grantee the freedom of expression and of the press as demanded by the constitution.
We demand the government to bring the perpetrators of violations against the journalists and the media to justice in order to end the crime impunity in Puntland and to prevent such cases from occurring in the future.
Puntland authorities must ensure that journalists work in conditions of safety. We believe guaranteeing the safety of journalists is the foundation of assuring the security of Puntland and human rights of people in Puntland.
The MAP salutes its campaigners in Puntland as well as all the local and international Press and rights groups for their invaluable efforts in helping the release of journalist Mohamed Yasin Isak.
For futher Information, Contact:
Burhan Ahemd Dahir,
Secretary General, Media Association of Puntland (MAP)
Abdiqani Hassan Mohamoud,
Information Secretary, MAP

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