JOWHAR (SD) – Police officers in Jowhar town of HirShabelle state have arrested a leader of a local media watchdog barely a day after a team of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) reached town to launch a three-day training on media freedom.
According to a statement by SJS, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, who is the group’s General Secretary along with Hanad Ali Guled, a collegue were detained at Jowhar police station for unknown reasons.
“Uniformed Police raided and arrested both officials at a hotel in Jowhar on Thrusday morning around 10:00am, where they were conducting training on enhancing media freedom and safety of journalists with the generous support from Canadian government through Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives,” the statement reads in part.
The latest detention comes hours after Mumin was summoned at the Jowhar police station for the first time on Wednesday along with the manager of the hotel that was hosting the seminar.
“At the police HQ, we were taken to a small room where Minister of Interior, Police Chief and few other officials were sitting. Officers harassed the hotel manager, insulted him and threatened (him) with arrest for hosting our journalists’ training.”
The police allegedly tried to strong-arm Mumin into revealing sensitive information about the workshop participants, including their clan affiliations.
“I intervened to explain our ongoing journalists’ safety training. They asked me about the training content, list of participants, clan identities, and our origins. I insisted all these details remain confidential and that we cannot reveal our journalists’ identities.”