Locked-up Secretary-General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), a press freedom group, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, is out on bail.
After days behind bars, SJS says, the journalist has been granted bail for the second time, but his health is in bad shape, and he is appealing for urgent medical aid.
In a tweet seen by Presshub Africa, SJS observes: Those targeting him are still pursuing Abdalle’s persecution. We are extremely concerned about his safety and security as threats to his life increases. We are specifically alarmed by the threats from top government officials. This must stop.”
Mumin is facing charges of bringing the Somali state into contempt, instigating disobedience of government orders, and nonobservance of government orders.
Various international human rights organizations penned a joint letter dated December 12, 2022, addressed to Somalia’s Attorney General Sulayman Mohamed Mohamud.
“During the last few months, Mumin has suffered violations of his human rights, including arbitrary arrest and detention, denial of fair trial rights, and restriction of his right to freedom of expression. To this date, he faces ongoing threats and persecution from Somali authorities because of his work as a journalist and advocates for the right to freedom of speech.
“We urge your office to drop all charges against Mr. Mumin. Continuing his prosecution not only casts a chilling effect on media freedom and journalism but also significantly contributes to the closing civic space in your country,” the letter reads in part.
The human rights groups include Amnesty International, Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, International Press Institute, Pen International, and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
Mumin was first arrested on October 11, 2022, at the Aden Adde International Airport in the capital Mogadishu by National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officers after criticizing a government directive restricting freedom of expression.
At that moment, he was preparing to board a flight to Nairobi.
An official statement issued by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on October 12, 2022, stated that Mumin was being held on security-related charges.
Three weeks ago, Somali government restarted his prosecution.
Meanwhile, The African Freedom of Expression Exchange network (AFEX) has also appealed to drop charges against Mumin. The statement is published on their website:
“AFEX is appalled by the judicial harassment of Abdalle Mumin and the outrageous conditions placed on his freedom. We join our voices to that of the media and the international community to condemn the brazen assault on journalists’ rights. We call on the Somali authorities to drop all charges against him”.