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News: Somali Region Journalists’ Association calls for release of journalist detained on charges of ‘spreading false propaganda’

Journalist Mohudin Mohamed (Photo: Social Media)

Addis Abeba –The Somali Region Journalists’ Association (SRJA) has issued a formal appeal for the immediate release of journalist Mohudin Mohamed, who was apprehended by regional security personnel on 13 February, 2024.

Formerly affiliated with Kalsan TV, Mohudin presently operates as a social media blogger.

According to Abdulrazaq Hassan chairman of the SRJA, Mohudin was detained at his residence due to his subsequent posts on social media platforms regarding the traffic disruptions observed in Jigjiga, the capital of the Somali Regional State, following the recent visit by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Abdulrazaq further revealed that Mohudin was held in an undisclosed prison for seven days without formal charges. Subsequently, he was transferred to the Fafan Zone police station and appeared before the court on 20 February, facing allegations of disseminating false propaganda. The court granted a 10-day period for police investigations.

“We are visiting him three times a day at the prison,” stated Abdulrazaq. “Our members are also consulting with lawyers to secure his release.”

Mohudin is not the sole journalist who has been detained in the Somali Regional State.

A year ago, Addis Standard reported the arrest of journalist Muhiyadin Mohammed Ali, who is also affiliated with Kalsan TV. His detention occurred a day subsequent to a decision by the region’s communication bureau to halt the broadcasts of 15 foreign media outlets in the region.

The bureau accused reporters from these outlets, based in the region, of operating without proper licenses. Kalsan TV, BBC, and VOA Somali Service were among the 15 foreign media outlets accused of operating without licenses.

In a statement issued following the ban, the Association, which was established in September 2021, asserted that the regional government played a pivotal role in the prohibition of these media outlets, citing the license issue as a pretext. AS

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