Somalia: Puntland frees journalist without charges

Published: January 7, 2010

On Wednesday, the authorities of the semi autonomous region of Puntland state of Somalia, has released Mohamed Yassin Ishak a journalists, who was detained for more than 16 days without charges.

Mohamed Yassin told Horseed Media, that he was doing fine, adding he still do not know why he was arrested.
Mohamed Yassin Ishak, the Voice of America reporter in Puntland, was arrested on 21st of December 2009, after a midnight raid on his Galkacyo home by security agents. The detention appears to contravene Puntland law requiring that charges be filed within 48 hours of arrest.
Last month, the newly named Puntland’s information Minister Abdihakim Ahmed Guled, told in an interview with the BBC Somali service, that Mohamed Yassin was arrested because, he was suspected to be involved in recent unrest in Puntland. But the minister did not elaborate.
According to sources close to the security agencies, Mohamed Yassin was arrested in request by the President’s office. Still there is no word from the Presidents office.
Recently, Journalists in Puntland have seen deteriorating press freedom conditions, including detentions, censorship, harassment, and direct attacks by police officers.
In Novemer 2009, Mohamed Yassin was wounded in a police shooting. The police shot at least 15 times at Isak’s car at a checkpoint in front of the regional governor’s office in Galkayo, the Media Association of Puntland reported. Isak suffered a wound to his left arm.
Police shot at another reporter in December. An unidentified officer at Galkayo Airport opened fire on Radio Galkayo Director Hassan Jama without provocation, according to local reports. Jama, who did not know why he was targeted, said two of the shots narrowly missed him.
On Wednesday, in an open letter from The Committee to Protect Journalists called for the President of Puntland, Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, to order an immediate investigation into the shootings of Isak and Jama, to halt government-sponsored harassment and censorship, and to ensure journalists are allowed to work without threat or intimidation.
Hussein Farah
Horseed Media

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *