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SJS leader arrested after criticizing "blanket ban" on extremism reporting

Tuesday October 11, 2022



Mogadishu (HOL) - Media rights groups have called on authorities in Somalia to release Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), who was arrested in Mogadishu on Tuesday afternoon.

The arrest came a day after a consortium of media rights organizations, including the SJS, signed a joint statement voicing their concern over a government "blanket ban" on extremist idealogy.

Mumin was taken into custody at Mogadishu's international airport while on his way to Nairobi.

The SJS released CCTV footage purportedly showing armed NISA officers led by the Hawl-Wadag district commander attempting to force their way into SJS's offices on Monday evening.

Mumin said that he reported the incident to Villa Somalia, who promised to investigate.

On Sunday, Somalia's information ministry said that it would target any media house or individual found spreading that group's violent extremist ideology.  It announced that dozens of social media accounts were suspended after being accused of disseminating pro-Al Shabaab propaganda.

Media rights groups demanded that the government be more specific about what constitutes Al Shabaab propaganda.

During a press conference on Monday morning, Abdalle Mumin criticized the federal government's directive as overreaching and "vaguely worded" and feared that it would be misused by government security agencies to silence legitimate concerns by journalists and human rights groups.

The federal government has not yet commented on the arrest.


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