US: 'Somalia intelligence agency detains journalist for weeks'

New York, US (PANA) - Somali authorities should immediately release journalist Abdirisak Omar Ahmed or disclose any charges against him, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Wednesday.

According to the CPJ, Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency arrested Abdirisak, a freelancer who wrote for the privately owned Somali-language, news website Xogmaal, on the morning of 17 Dec. near the Jubba Hotel in the Shanghani district of Mogadishu.

"Somali authorities have held Abdirisak Omar Ahmed incommunicado for 20 days without presenting a shred of evidence he broke the law. That is 20 days too long," said CPJ Africa Programme Coordinator Sue Valentine.

"If Abdirisak is accused of committing a crime, authorities should disclose those charges immediately. Otherwise, they should release him now," Valentine said.

Abdirisak was detained alongside journalist Abdukar Mohamed Ali of Star FM while the pair was walking to a coffee shop.
Abdukar was released without charge the next day, but Abdirisak remains in detention, and has not been brought before the courts. He is being held at the intelligence agency headquarters near the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

CPJ said the journalist has been denied access to his lawyer and his family, including his wife, Maryan Arale.

The reasons for Abdirisak's detention remain unclear. Neither Minister for National Security Abdirizak Omar Mohamed nor Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir Maareeye immediately responded to CPJ's emailed request for information as to why the journalist has been detained.
-0- PANA SEG 7Jan2016

06 january 2016 23:50:18

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