(PRESS STATEMENT) Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) is releived to learn that Somaliland authorities has on Friday allowed journalist Abdirahman Keyse Tungub of Bulsho TV to see a doctor, friends and family, nearly a week  of suffering from police gunshot on his leg while behind bars without charges.

The Commander of Las’Anod Police, Saleban Duale Warsame (alias Dhegaweyne) on Friday agreed to allow the doctor to see journalist Abdirahman, who was detained at Aslubta prison in Las’Anod, Sool region. The journalist was previously held at the Central Police Station until Wednesday May 15, 2019 when he was transferred to the Aslubta prison.

On Friday morning, upon arriving at the jail, the prison guards confiscated visiting journalists’ mobile phones before allowing them to see Abdirahman, according to one of the colleagues who visited the prison.

“Today at 8am local time, we’ve visited our friend Abdirahman who is being held in the main Aslubta jail in Las’Anod. We spoke him through a small hole at the door of the prison cell which he shared five other prisoners,” the colleague journalist told Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

“He could not stand well as he was complaining from a lot of pain from his leg injuries. He had covered it with a piece of sheet to prevent bleeding,” the journalist added.

The doctor then treated the injury by cleaning the tissues damaged by the shrapnel.
Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) reached out to the doctor who declined to speak about the health situation of the journalist due to what he called “the sensitivity of the case”.

Another colleague who accompanied the visiting journalists and saw when the doctor was attending to the journalist said that a small bit of shrapnel remained lodged in beneath the ankle of Abdirahman’s right leg which causes a lot of ache to him.

“The doctor suggested that the journalist would need a qualified physician to remove the shrapnel,” the second colleague told Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

Meanwhile acts of threats and intimidations with arrests against journalists continue in Las’Anod ahead of Somaliland’s Independence Day celebrations on May 18, forcing journalists to go into hiding. So far one journalist has fled Las’Anod on Thursday following reports that police were looking for him.

Mohamed Bidhanshe, who works for the critical privately-owned SBS TV has told Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) that he fled his hometown Las’Anod after police raided his home Wednesday night.

“Thanks God. I’m now in a safer place. I fled my hometown and my family. I will not return back until I get freedom to report as a journalist,” he said.

The freedom of speech and press in Somalia is being threatened by draconian laws and rogue leadership who always try to silence and oppress the journalists and media.
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Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul
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