On Saturday 17 December, officials at the President’s Communications
Office called local media directors and instructed them that they should
submit their news stories in word document before any broadcast.
According to the director of Risaala Media Corporation, Mohamed
Abduwahab, some media houses have rejected the demand which is effective
starting from Saturday.
On Sunday 18 December, Somali National Intelligence (NISA) agents detained the UK-based Channel4 News Africa correspondent, Jamal Muhumed Osman at
the Mogadishu’s Aden Adde Airport shortly after arriving at the airport
from London. The multi-award winning journalist was held at an airport
hotel overnight and his movement restricted until Monday when he was allowed to leave the country with the intervention of members of the parliament. Jamal later wrote on his Facebook that he was jetting back to London. It was not yet clear why Jamal was
detained. Earlier this year, Jamal’s reporting inside al-Shabaab won the
2022 Rory Peck Award for Best News Feature in the United Kingdom.
On Monday 19 December, NISA agents at the federal parliament’s Lower
House building in Mogadishu assaulted Arlaadi Media Network reporter,
Mohamed Nur Mohamed who was at the parliament to cover the parliament
sitting on Monday. The journalist, who was accredited to cover the
parliament was also removed from the venue by NISA agents.
Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) condemns these latest attacks
including censorship against the local media, restrictions and beating
against the journalists in Mogadishu. We call for the Somalia government
to immediately to retract its latest censorship order, respect press
freedom and give the journalists and the media workers a secure
environment where they can exercise their profession without fear or
SJS also condemns the ongoing threats and persecution against
SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin including the restrictions
against his right to movement and right to freedom of expression by the ministry of information officials as another example of the blatant violations that Somali authorities are committing with total impunity.
“We condemn the new press censorship order by Villa Somalia,
restrictions imposed on Channel 4 freelance journalist and beating of
Arlaadi Media journalists by the NISA agents at the Somali parliament,”
Mohamed Ibrahim, President, Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said,
“These latest government attacks against the press including the new
censorship order will have a chilling effect on the already fragile
press freedom situation in the country.”
“We call on the Somali government, especially the Villa Somalia
officials to retract their censorship, which violates basic
constitutional right of the citizens right to know.” Mr. Ibrahim added.