Somalia police on Sunday morning briefly arrested five journalists in Mogadishu’s Hodan neighborhood for covering a demonstration organized by public transport drivers, officials said, in what appeared to be a major media crack down.
Public transport drivers including Bajaaj drivers took to the streets on the second day to protest in what they called increased roadblocks and higher taxation.
Among the journalists briefly detained include Ahmed Ali Barre of Universal TV, Ali Aden Mumin of Goobjoog media and Farhan Mohamed Hussien, Yonis Durraan Ali and Yahye Olad of Kulmiye radio.
According to Burhaan Diini Farah, director of Kulmiye News Network, three journalists working for his station were arrested by the police, damaged their equipment and beat some of them.
The secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) Abdalle Ahmed Mumin condemned the arbitrary arrests against the journalists and called the arrest illegal and unconstitutional.
“Police is not above the law and should respect the journalists for undertaking their noble work which is only to inform the public.” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, SJS Secretary General said.