The National Union of Somali Journalists [NUSOJ] deplores detention of prominent journalist in Mogadishu on Wednesday September 03, 2014 between 09 – 10:00am by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency and calls for his unconditional release.
Members of the NSA arrested Hassan Ali Gesey, Director of Radio Dalsan and Chairman of SIMHA – Somali Media on Wednesday morning between 09 – 10:00am outside his office at the Dalsan Radio in Bondhere neighborhood along with Abubakar Hasharo, though Hasharo was later released.
The Arrest of Mr. Gesey comes after he commented on orders imposed by the NSA on the Mogadishu based media including: Ban on Shabab reports and liaising all security operations on Mohamed Yusuf, Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Security, which sparked confusion among the media.
Commission of independent media representatives and the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) among them; Abdulkadir Mohamed Farah (Dulyar), Director of Kalsan TV, Abdirisak Black, Director of Somali channel Television, Ismail Sheik Khalifa, Director of StarFM Radio and deputy Director of SIMHA – an independent media houses association, Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General and Ibrahim Yare of Haatuf Radio engaged the National Security Agency (NSA) at their offices for the release of our colleague.
The National Union of Somali Journalists calls the arrest, “disheartening and appalling” and called the Federal government of Somalia to unconditionally release our colleagues.
“We are appalled by the arrest of our colleague and call for his unconditional release.” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, “calling for respect to the press freedom as the foundation of every democratic society.”
On Tuesday, the National Intelligence and Security Agency’s regional chief, Mohamed Aadan Koofi announced the ban of the Shabab related reports and Information related security related operations be provided by the spokesperson of the Somali Ministry of National Security in a meeting with the media bosses and union representatives, which sparked a lot of controversy among the media stations in Mogadishu as the terms of the order needed further explanation to their extent. An hour later, when the meeting with the security chiefs ended, the Media officials requested for a meeting with the Minister of Information, Mustaf Duhulow and presented their concerns, since the media people are connected to the government at his ministry. Minister Duhulow gave his assurances to the media freedoms and promised that he will get back with the official government position regarding the ban.
Separately, the cabinet endorsed a new draft of the Somali Media with the support of the Somali media, who originally drafted it. NUSOJ believes that the new media law will lay foundations for the regulatory framework of the Somali media after 22 years by saving the Somali media and journalist to be referred to the Somali criminal law, which all offences committed in journalism are referred to civil courts.
Finally the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) reiterates its call for Justice to the 3 detained Shabelle and SKY FM radios held in custody for 20 days.