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Outcry after reporter ‘beaten by police’ in Somalia

JOURNALIST unions condemned this weekend’s “abominable attack on a journalist’s life” by police officers in Somalia yesterday after Mohamed Ali Siad arrived at the station for a pre-arranged interview.

Mr Siad was allegedly assaulted after he attempted to interview  Galkayo city police chief Colonel Mohamed Ali Awale following a security operation that took place earlier in the day.

Mr Awale refused to answer questions and asked the journalist to come to his office where he was beaten by security guards who slammed his head against a wall, injuring him before throwing him back on the street.

National Union of Somali Journalists general secretary Awil Mohamud Abdi said: “This is abominable attack on journalist’s life. The beating and torture of Mohamed Ali Siad serves only one purpose — to scare journalists from covering sensitive issues like security. 

“People have the right to know what happened in their neighbourhoods. Beating or killing a journalist isn’t feasible and will not make Galkayo a safe town.”

International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger urged Somali authorities to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We  demand authorities protect journalists, not beat them up,” he said.

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