NUSOJ concerned about “savage beating” of Journalist in Somaliland

11 September 2011

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is outraged by the savage beating of Waheen newspaper journalist, Saleban Abdi Ali, by Somaliland Police’s Special Protection Unit (SPU) on Saturday 10 September 2011 in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

The journalist was trying to attend a ceremony in Hargeisa where a new interior minister Mohamed Nur Aralle was handed over to the ministry by acting interior minister, but the SPU soldiers stopped the journalist from accessing to the hall of the ceremony. Two men wearing police uniforms had badly beaten the journalist before detaining him briefly in Hargeisa detention center for 10 hours.

One of the SPU officers who watched when Ali was beaten said to the journalist, “you want to be famous? We’ll make you famous”. The officer told the other journalists who were present at the assault that Ali is “an example”, adding that when Waheen publishes “disparaging reports” about “government officials” its reporters should be treated like this.

“For police officers to attack a journalist because authorities do not like what his newspaper publishes is an indicator of little respect for press freedom and security of journalists in Somaliland,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Attacks like this contribute to an atmosphere of fear for the Somaliland media”.

“We call upon the Somaliland authorities to open a full investigation and bring those ordered and soldiers who carried out this brutal assault to justice. This kind of shameless attack cannot go unpunished”, added Osman.

Somaliland police arrested journalist Ahmed Muse Mohamed, publicly known as Sagaro, who is reporter for Waaheen newspaper, on 5 September 2011 in Bur’o police station but he was later transferred to the central jail of the town in Togdheer region in Somaliland.

Photo: Ali being dragged by SPU officers

For further information, contact:
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
Taleex Street, KM4 Area, Hodan District,
Mogadishu, Somalia, tel/fax: +252 1 859 944,

National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is a national union representing Somali journalists to promote and protect freedom of the press and the interests and rights of journalists. It is a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), International Freedom of Expression exchange (IFEX), Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA). NUSOJ is partner with Reporters without Borders (RWB).