Journalists are in hiding after police have raided their houses overnight
The Puntland police have raided the house of two journalists, both working for Somali Channel Television in Garowe, capital of semi- autonomous region of Puntland.
Around 2:00 AM Tuesday morning, the police went into the house of Mahdi Abdi Ali without warranty and drag him out, handcuff and took him away to the police station. After short time, the same police went to the house of Saido-Kiin Ahmed Jama, but she was not at home in that time. Saido went into hiding after receiving the information related to her eminent arrest by the police.
Saido has contacted the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), and talked to one of the members on her cell phone: "Five armed police on board of two vehicles came to my house, but they couldn’t find me, because I left the house earlier when I got a tip from friends. They have interrogated my Mom asking her where I was, but her answer was that she did not know where I went...”
According to (NUSOJ), Mahdi Abdi Ali is still in Garowe police station and he is there on order of the Ministry of Information of semi-autonomous region of Puntland. It was on November 1, of this year, when Puntland banned both Somali Channel Television and Universal TV. According to the Ministry of information of Puntaland, these two networks have violated the ban
Some of the local reporters in Mogadishu have contacted the Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mohamed Ibrahim in order to ask him what is next about the abuse of the journalists in Puntland and he said:
"We protest the act of raiding the houses of the journalists without following the legal procedures. We demand the Puntland government to stop the attacks against the independent press and journalists working in the region under its control."
"Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Puntland Constitution, Transitional Federal Charter of Somali government as depicted in article 20 section 1 and 2, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and international treaties, as well as regional and global conventions of which Somalia is a member. We demand those freedoms to be put into practice, and this brutal violence against the journalist and media houses in Puntland, must stop." Mr. Ibrahim added.
This is not the first time journalists have been abused or killed in the world, but Somalia is a very risky environment, where no one has high opinion for the freedom of speech.
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