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Southwest frees journalist after months in custody

Somali authorities in Southwest state have released freelance journalist, Abdulkadir Barre Moalim from custody on Sunday.

Moalim was arrested by security agencies from his home in Baidoa on 25th September this year.

The Journalist together with two other people was sentenced to three months’ jail after they were found guilty of violating article 232 (political conspiracy to commit a crime) of Somalia’s penal code by organizing a political gathering without the knowledge of the authorities.

The violation of the article refers to the Journalist coverage of a press conference by the local elders condemning a move by the airport officials in Mogadishu that denied a plane carrying former President, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed to Kismayo in order to attend regional leader inauguration ceremony.

Somali media advocacy groups welcomed the release of the Journalist while urging authorities to respect press freedom.

Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) SAID IT considers the imprisonment of the journalist Abdulkadir Barre Moalim as unfair saying its purpose was intimidating the press to turn their eyes away from the abuses and autocracies committed by the local administration.

“I am very sorry that a journalist working for his people to share with the information, to be sentenced for three months of imprisonment, it clearly shows this weak level of tolerance by South West state, and disrespect of freedom of speech and media, therefore We call upon Southwestern leaders to respect the right of the citizen to express his opinion and the media’s right to deliver information to the public.” Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu FESOJ General Secretary said.

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