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AFEX condemns the detention of journalist

On April 1, 2024, freelance journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi was detained in the Luuq District of Gedo region in Somalia, which shares a border with Ethiopia.

According to a report by the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Mohamud was arrested after he made a social media post alleging an injury of two male rickshaw (popularly known as tuk tuk) drivers who had been shot by police over unpaid ‘fees’ demanded by police.

However, other reports indicate that his arrest was ordered by Luuq District Commissioner, Dahir Muhumad Nur, over claims that Mohamud had covertly recorded photos and videos concerning the movement of Ethiopian forces near the border.

Prior to his arrest, Mohamud received threatening messages after he made a post on Facebook. This led him to delete the post.

Mohamud’s family has been denied access to see him since his arrest.  He has also been reportedly beaten in the cell where he is presently held.

The continuous freedom of expression violations experienced by journalists potentially in Somalia places them in a high-risk job category, leading to young professionals avoiding the profession.

The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) condemns the abuse of human rights in the case of journalist Mohamud Abdirashid Abdi. We urge Somalian authorities to release Mohamud and hold to account the military officers and other individuals responsible for this inexcusable abuse of power.

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