Somalia’s intelligence agency released a Somalia journalist on Thursday after being detained for five days by the spy agency for interviewing with a Mogadishu businessman who espoused favourable views for the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab.
Abdullahi Kulmiye Addow, a veteran journalist with Radio Kulmiye, was arrested by NISA agents at his home just before midnight on October 17th. His friends and family say the arresting officers did not tell them where he was being taken.
His release was contingent upon his withdrawal of the interview with Abukar Omar Adani, a successful Mogadishu-based businessman who is believed to be one of the chief financial backers of the defunct Islamic Courts Union.
It has been reported that Radio Kulmiye director Burhan Dini Farah cancelled the interview which was scheduled to air on the same Addow he was released.
His release was welcomed by the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), and Somali Media Association (SOMA) welcomed the news of Addow’s release but condemned his arbitrary detention.
Media rights groups in Somalia have denounced Addow’s arrest as an affront on press freedom in Somalia. Mohamed Abduwahab Abdullahi, the secretary-general of Somali Media Association (SOMA), said that his detention was tantamount to abduction and called on the Somali authorities to cease harassing journalists who are critical of the government.
Addow was interned at the notorious Godka Jila’ow prison where he confirmed that he was held incommunicado since his arrest.