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Somali government security forces confiscate journalists’ equipment, detain cameraman and beat up two others

***ALERT***

Mogadishu, Somalia 14 May, 2019 –

Today around 11:30am a group of five journalists and cameramen went to Warta Nabadda (formerly Wardhigley) District Headquarters where a car bomb blast inflicted deaths and injuries.

Among the journalists are: Said Yusuf Warsame – EPA Photographer; Feisal Omar – Reuters photojournalist; Mohamed Osman Gurey – Al Jazeera TV freelance photographer; Farah Abdi Warsame, Associated Press photographer; Mohamed Abdukadir Jirow – Radio Kulmiye Photo/videographer

According to three of these journalists we have spoken to, upon reaching the scene, the police at the site ordered the journalists to surrender their equipments while threatening those who resisted. All of the journalists then handed over their equipment to an armed police officer.

Two journalists who came later: Farhan Mohamed Hussein of Radio Kulmye as a news reporter and Onkod Adan, a reporter of Kalsan TV argued against the orders to confiscate their equipment resulting the armed police officer to beat both of them by slapping and kicking them from behind. The pair also handed over their equipment.

After confiscating the equipments, journalists were told that they cannot leave and were instructed to sit outside the district headquarters building until 1.30pm.

A police officer later informed the journalists that they could leave or if they want film the blast scene at that time. Some of the journalists said they did not film and left the area immediately fearing for their lives while few filmed and took photos of the explosion site but that was too late for such a newsy breaking story.

In a separate incident, Dalsan TV camareman, Mohamed Hussein Mohamed, has been briefly arrested and taken to Shingani Police Station, East of Mogadishu while he was filming students in protest. The cameraman was released only after spending two hours in detention

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Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) is an independent journalists syndicate that defends the rights of journalists, provide legal aid and advocate for press and internet freedoms.

*Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) is at its founding stage and will be officially launched in Mogadishu once its documents and structure is completed.*

Email: pressfreedom@sjsyndicate.org or alerts@sjsyndicate.org

Website: www.sjsyndicate.org

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