Somalia security agencies continue to harass journalists

HRJ

The Human Rights Journalists (HRJ) is deeply alarmed by the increasing acts of encroachment perpetrated against journalists in their line of duty. The HRJ’s freedom of expression and safety of journalists monitoring shows that many cases of press freedom violations have been committed by some members of the security agencies this year.

On Thursday May 17, 2018, a member of Somali security forces threatened to shoot Abakar Sheikh Mohamed, the director of Shabelle Radio (a privately-owned radio station) as he came out of the radio station HQ in Mogadishu’s Hodan district.

Mr. Abukar Sheikh better known as (Abukar Sky) told HRJ that a member of Somali security forces ordered him to stop as he drove out of the radio station late in the afternoon and told him to get out of the car for investigation.

The security officer searched through the vehicle, then removed the car key and walked away. When Abukar asked the officer why he confiscated the car key, the security officer pointed a loaded gun at him and said, “You dare not get closer to me”

According to Abukar , other security officers who were monitoring the situation had intervened the stalemate and managed to persuade their comrade to give the car key back to him. No explanation was given to Abukar about what had happened.

“It is unfortunate to see a law enforcement officer breaching the law and security agencies harassing journalists they should be protecting” said HRJ chairman Ismail Sheikh Khalifa.

We want the Federal Government and its member states to recognize the important role the media plays in the democratic development of the country and accord them the necessary support and respect they deserve.

The HRJ condemns any threats against journalists. We also call on the security agencies to investigate into the latest attack on radio Shabelle director and to bring the perpetrator of this assault to book”