The African Freedom of Exchange (AFEX) strongly condemns the rearrest of freelance journalist and press freedom advocate Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, and urges the Somali authorities to release the journalist unconditionally.
Police officers arrested the cofounder and secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), a local media rights group, on February 23, 2023 in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. According to the SJS and other media sources, Mumin was arrested without any warrant nor explanation at Jazeera Hotel. He had attend a public event held there by the Senate finance committee as a speaker.
The journalist was arrested on orders of the regional police chief Mahdi Omar Mumin and taken to the Mogadishu central Prison, the SJS and three other Somali media rights organisations said.
“Somali government officials and security forces must refrain from further persecution against the media freedom advocate and union leader Abdalle Ahmed Mumin. We also call on Somalia’s international partners to publicly condemn this political witch-hunt against SJS Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin and ask Somalia government to respect the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression,” the group added.
The new arrest of Mumin adds a new unfortunate development to four months of judicial harassment since Mumin’s first arrest in October 2022 on alleged security-related charges. Recently on February 13, 2023, the Banadir Regional Court sentenced Mumin to two months in jail on the same charges. However, an unexpected event occurred as Mumin was freed on arrival at the prison facility by the authorities when they found that he had served more than four months of detention prior the sentence.
AFEX is appalled by the Somali authorities’ inclination to muzzle critical journalism and press freedom in the country. We call on the Somali judicial authorities and government to release journalist Abdalle Ahmed Mumin without any conditions and refrain from any future harassment of the journalists for exercising his profession.