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Somalia18 September 2007

Reporter arrested in market raid is freed after five days

Reporters Without Borders notes that Mohamed Hussein Jimaale, the Mogadishu correspondent of the news website Puntlandpost, was released yesterday after being held for five days. He was arrested while covering a police operation against suspected Islamist insurgents in the capital’s Bakara open market.

17.09.2007 - Journalist arrested in roundup, police raid studios of privately-run radio

Reporters Without Borders today called on the authorities in Somalia to release Mohamed Hussein Jimaale, correspondent in Mogadishu for the news website Puntlandpost, arrested on 12 September and secretly held since that date.

The worldwide press freedom organisation regretted that despite repeated appeals from itself and most similar bodies, the federal transitional government had taken no serious steps to ensure the safety of journalists in Mogadishu and continued to refuse to agree with them on the right conditions for peaceful co-existence.

Jimaale was arrested in the Bakara market along with 70 other people while covering a police operation to arrest Islamist insurgents. Reporters Without Borders’ partner organisation in Somalia, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said police have given no information about him since his arrest.

Elsewhere, on 15 September, 14 journalists and five staff on the privately-owned Radio Shabelle were seized and held for more than two hours “in atrocious conditions”, after police raided their studios, said the NUSOJ. One of the journalists was accused of having thrown a grenade at a police patrol.

“One journalist arrested in a raid and secretly held, an unjustified police raid on a radio station in one week : These are the latest incidents to be added to a long list,” said Reporters Without Borders.

“Maintaining order in a crisis situation does not justify this reign of unfairness and brutality, particularly when the declared political goal is to restore democracy,” it concluded.

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