Head of Somali journalists union released on bail

The secretary-general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) was released on bail Sunday after being arrested six days earlier on security-related charges, according to Anadolu Agency reported.

Abdalle Ahmed Mumin appeared before a court in the capital Mogadishu on Sunday after the country’s attorney general’s office charged him with disobeying the law and “orders of the authorities.”

Speaking by phone with Anadolu Agency, SJS President Mohamed Ibrahim said Mumin was arrested on trumped-up charges.

He accused the government of trying to silence the country’s independent media.

Journalists who attended the hearing told Anadolu Agency that Mumin was released after prosecutors were unable to establish that he committed a crime.

Mumin’s arrest was widely condemned by local and international media organizations, which described it as “politically motivated” and said it violated Somali journalists’ constitutional rights to report freely.

He was arrested a day after the Somali government announced that it had banned journalists from covering any news related to the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group al-Shabab.