Three journalists were detained by Somali police last weekend for reporting on a potential case of Ebola within Somalia.
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
The journalists all worked for the private radio station Radio Risaala, which has reportedly since been shut down.
Mohamed Abdiwahab Abdullahi, Mohamed Kafi Sheik Abukar and Mohamed Abdi Ali were taken into the National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters Saturday for allegedly sparking panic during a broadcast over a possible instance of the deadly virus in a town in Lower Shabelle.
Health Minister Ali Mohamed Mohamud has since denied that any case of Ebola is present within the country.
Reporters Without Borders demanded the release of the radio journalists on Tuesday, calling their arrests "flagrant violations of freedom of the media and information."
In a separate incident, two journalists reporting on a lethal car bomb in the Somali capital Mogadishu were allegedly taken into custody without cause on Sunday and released Monday.
“We condemn these five arbitrary arrests and the closure of an independent news outlet, which constitute flagrant violations of freedom of the media and information," Reporters Without Borders deputy program director Virginie Dangles said. "We urge the authorities to free the three journalists still held without charge and to allow Radio Risaala to resume broadcasting. Journalists must be able to work freely, inform their fellow citizens and express public concerns without being threatened with jail as soon as they show an interest in public interest subjects of a sensitive nature."