Somali journalists released from jail

2015-10-08 13:34


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - Somalia's government released late on Wednesday two journalists who spent a week in jail after broadcasting a debate on the presence of foreign forces in the country.

Universal TV's regional director Abdullahi Hersi and producer Awil Dahir Salad were set free but the independent London-based broadcaster remained off the air and its Mogadishu office was closed Thursday.

"We are very pleased that the journalists have been released," information minister Mohamed Abdi Heyr told reporters on Thursday.

However, he warned journalists, "to tell stories wisely while avoiding anything that implicates the nation's stability and unity".

The Universal TV journalists said they were relieved to be free.

Dangerous countries for reporters

"After six days in jail, we are eventually free and can go back to our lives," said Salad. "We were shocked that we have been accused of engaging in state destruction and implicating the country's stability."

The journalists were arrested when national intelligence agents raided their studio on October 2 after it broadcast a debate on the role of foreign forces in Somalia.

The internationally-backed government in Mogadishu is protected by the 22 000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia, Amisom, with troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

Amisom is battling the al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab Islamists.

The arrests drew condemnation from the United Nations, United States and press freedom groups.

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for reporters to operate, and media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks it just eight places off the bottom of a list of 180 countries for press freedom.

Hersi and Salad were held without charge and were not taken to court, despite a statement from the government saying they would be formally charged.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  al-qaeda  |  somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.