Somalia: Journalists assaulted at colleagues’ funeral in Kismayo

Mogadishu, 13 July 2019: The Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) has condemned the assault of four journalists by members of Jubbaland security forces in Kismayo on Saturday, 13th July.

“Journalists should not be attacked for only doing what they are supposed to do especially in this time of grieving as we are mourning the loss of two prominent colleagues – Hodan and Sahal who were killed in the Kismayo attack,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, the Secretary-General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said.

The SJS said that at approximately at 11.30 a.m., members of the Jubbaland security forces physically assaulted four journalists who were at the funeral of their fellow journalists: Mohamed Omar Sahal and Hodan Naleyeh, who were killed in the Kismayo hotel attack on Friday.

According to the SJS, the burial, which took place at Bar ‘Alen graveyards, started with a short prayer before journalists started filming the funeral proceedings. Then members of the security forces instructed the journalists to stop filming, after which they started beating them with sticks, punches and kicks, and as a result injured four of them.

Mohamud Warsame Shiike, correspondent for Som News TV, sustained bone crack on his upper right arm; Ahmed Isak Abdulle, a freelance correspondent for STN TV, was slightly injured on the left hand, while Mohamed Qasim Wahar, Somali Cable TV correspondent and Abdiweli Beddel, a cameraman for STN TV both sustained minor bruises on the back and the right hand respectively.

Journalist Mohamud Warsame Shiike said that he was taken to the hospital and later went home after he received treatment.

“I was hit with a heavy wooden baton and almost became unconscious. I am now out of the hospital,” Shiike told SJS.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Isak Abdulle’s camera was completely damaged after the attackers grabbed and destroyed it, according to Abdulle and photos seen by SJS.

“When they attacked us, they also grabbed my camera and smashed it,” Abdulle, a freelance correspondent for STN TV, told SJS over the phone.

The SJS called on the Jubbaland authorities to immediately investigate the matter and bring those responsible to book.

“We call Jubbaland authorities to investigate this attack and arrest the perpetrators,” Mumin said.

SBC TV correspondent, Mohamed Omar Sahal and Hodan Naleyeh, a female TV journalist and founder of Integration TV were among 26 killed on Friday evening after gunmen attacked Madina Hotel, formerly known as Asasey, in Kismayo.