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Mogadishu, Somalia – National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes Ahlu Sunna waljama release of the two journalists arrested in the Somalia’s central town of Dhusomareb two days ago were illegally sentenced to three months in jail by the Sufi militia run local court. They were submitted to the central prison in the town but later released with the help of The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) on Thursday.
But after much contact with the Sufi Ahlu-Suna rulers in Dhusomareb, the NUSOJ officials succeeded in convincing the court judge that the charges against the journalists were baseless. They were released on Wednesday at 06:00 PM local time.
The journalists were arrested with false charges accusing them of a news coverage describing the Ahlu-Suna fighters as clan based militia bandits, but the case lacked any evidence.
The chairman of Ahlu-Suna Sheik Ibrahim Sheik Hassan Guureeye told NUSOJ that he will intervene in the case and correct the faults within the administration. Ibrahim has apologized over the journalists’ arrests and pledged for NUSOJ that this won’t happen. He also stated that those who were behind it will be brought before justice.
The man behind the reporters’ arrests – the chairman of the security board in Dhusomareb town -Farhan Sheik Ali has himself given an excuse over this order stating it was a mistake which became a misunderstanding.
Journalist Abdirahman Moalim Ahmed described their arrest as a violation of their freedom. They were beaten and tortured to confess to crimes that did not exist or with which they were not involved.
Militias loyal to the local Sufi militias, Ahlu Suna Wal-Jama raided the offices of the Radio Voice of Central Dhusamareb (Idaacadda Codka Bartamaha Dhusamareb) based in Dhusamareb on Tuesday morning around 6:20am local time, where they have seriously beaten and arrested Bashir Mohamed Salad Aka Bashir Sanka. Sanka contributes to both Dalsan Radio, a privately owned independent radio station based in Mogadishu, and Idacada Codka Bartamaha, an independent radio station based Dhusamareb. Abdi Jamal Moalim Ahmed, who is the correspondent of Radio Bar-Kulan, a UN Funded radio, was also beaten.
The Shabab, which is affiliated to Al-Qaeda, looted the Radio equipment twice after raiding the town and briefly taking it over. There have been similar fears within the residents after the Ahlu Sunna Waljama militias supported by the Ethiopian troops abandoned the town of Elbur, a strategic town in central Somalia this weekend.
On 5th June, 2012, The Deputy Security Chief of the town’s Security Committee, Mr. Nor Elmi Hoosagale threatened the journalists after the town’s people evacuated the town.
On June 8, 2012 Two unknown assailants armed with pistols shot Mohamed Noor Mohamed better known as Mohamed Sharif – reporter for the Bar-Kulan Radio – twice below the heart which penetrated the back and the stomach. The shooting occurred on Friday evening June 8, 2012 around 7:30pm local time near Horn Cable Television office in Hamarjajab neighborhood as he was returning from work. The attackers fled the area immediately, according to witnesses.