Somali journalists Gather in Mogadishu to Protest the Arrest of a colleague held without charges for the 18th day
Somali journalists, editors, media managers of the radio stations, televisions and radios gathered in Mogadishu on 27 January 2013 to protest against the arrest of Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim who is in jail for 18th day without charges and called on the Somali government to unconditionally free him.
The media professionals who attended the protest expressed their concern about the looming future of Somali press freedom and the freedom of expression following the arrest of Abdulasis Koronto for interviewing a woman who said that she was raped, by the Somali government forces, although to interview a victim is not crime.
The Somali government said that the journalist is likely to face possible treason charges. The lawyer of the journalist, Prof. Mohamed Afrah told the local media that to interview a victim is not a criminal act and that treason charges has nothing to do with such case.
The media practitioners demanded in solidarity from the top leadership of the Somali government to release the journalist and respect the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press and vowed that they will continue the campaign until their colleague is released.
Somalia is which is said to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work on January 18 witnessed the first killing of a journalist this year when unidentified gunmen shot and killed Abdihared Osman Aden, Shabelle radio program producer.
Last year at least 19 journalists were killed across the lawless country, while the notorious perpetrators are still at large.
Earlier in the week pro-Somali government militias controlling the southern port town of Kismayo issued an order which seemed to be gagging journalists in the region ordering them to come with their stories at what they called ‘censorship’ office before filming news reports.
“We tell all journalists in the southern Lower Jubba region that they cannot send a single story without our consent or otherwise they will face hard punishments” said Abdi Naser Seeraar, a leader within the pro-government Islamist group of the Raskamboni fighters.
The Raskamboni militia come under Sheik Ahmed Mohamed Islan, a former powerful leader within the Islamic courts Union which ruled most of the country in the second half of 2006.
Who are the Raskambooni Militias?
They are terrorists and were part of the Islamic courts Union who banned sports in most parts of Somalia in the second half of 2006. In 2007-2009 they were allied to Al-shabab and fought against Somali government and African Union peacekeepers in the country.
They were responsible of the killings of many Somali journalists including Nasteh Dahir Farah who was killed in Kismayo on The 7th of June 2008.
Late in 2009 Al-shabab ordered the Raskambooni militias to lay down the arms and give in to them and from that time its leader Sheik Ahmed Mohamed Islan established relations with Somali government and fought against his former allies the Al-shabab, although he and his group still believe the ideology of terrorism