By Abdiaziz Loyal – Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
The media fraternity in Somalia has outrageously condemned the continued attack of the fourth estate in the latest string of violence.
Under their different umbrella associations, Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) Somali Media Association (SOMA) and Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), the attack on the media practitioners in a few weeks has been outrageous.
In a space of 24 hours, four journalists have been brutally intercepted and attacked while doing their profession in Somalia.
On Monday, May 18, 2020, at around 9:00 pm armed from the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) raided the premises of the privately-owned Somali Cable TV in Mogadishu.
Three officers beat cameraman Abdirahman Omar Abdulle who sustained slight injuries on the left arm while threatening to shoot a reporter and a driver at the TV’s premises before leaving the area. The reason for the raid is yet unclear and officers responsible were not arrested as of Tuesday.
Still on the same day, at around 8:00 pm, a police commander and three officers from Hodan District Police Station stopped Som News TV reporter, Mohamed Abdi Osman, and cameraman Abdifatah Mohamed Abdullahi who were on assignment to cover COVID-19 impact on the local business ahead of the upcoming Eid-al-Fitr celebrations.
The officers told the journalists to stop filming nearby shops in the pretext of that business owners were not happy with the filming. The journalists were threatened they would be shot when they continued filming. They finally dropped their assignments.
Police officers in Beledhawo town of Gedo briefly detained freelance journalist Warsame Haji Farah after capturing the Beledhawo City market on the aftermath of gun clash within the Somali Police Force on Monday, May 18, 2020, at around 3:30 pm.
While these journalists are still battling fresh bruises, a one Mohamed Abduwahaad Nuur, of Radio Hiigsi disappeared since March 7, regardless of endless calls to have him access lawyers.
The media fraternity demanded a prompt investigation into the attack on Somali cable TV premises on Monday and demand police to permit unhindered access to Journalists as they carry out their work without harassment.