Ibrahim Said Salah, editor of Allcarmo.com,a Somali political online newspaper which also reports on Kenya was arrested and detained in Nairobi Kenya a fortnight ago after leaving Bossasso, Puntland, where he was reportedly working on stories touching the formation of political parties and Puntland’s democratisation process.
According to reports, Kenyan police are investigating the website and are interrogating the reporter even though the motive of the arrest remains unknown. Some people familiar with the matter believe that some Puntland politicians are using their Kenyan counterparts to arrest, detain and intimidate the journalist due to his reports on formation of political parties in the northeast regions of Somalia.
“The arrest of Ibrahim Said Salah is a disturbing development and we suspect it as an attempt to censor coverage of important political issues in Puntland” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General in a statement.
“We call on the Kenyan authorities to release him immediately and allow Somali journalists in Kenya to do their media without intimidations”.
Several Somali journalists have been arrested and freedom of the press in the country is at trial. The country also recently passed a new draft bill that aims to protect reporters and the public against defamation.
Earlier, Tom Rhodes, East Africa Representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists said:”Somalia authorities appear to have committed a double press freedom violation: first they tried to censor the media by asking them not to report on certain military operations, and then they arrested a journalist who dared to criticize the censorship. We call on authorities to release Hassan Gesey immediately and let the press do its job.”
Though we haven’t established the main issues for his arrest, we believe the move is violation of media freedom and the freedom of speech for everyone.