Somali Journalist Speaks Out Against Detention and Torture in New Video

by | May 13, 2023 | Blog

Somali journalist Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, a co-founder of the Somali Journalists Syndicate, was detained for 13 days at Mogadishu airport while travelling to Nairobi. During this trip, the 35-year-old journalist was held for three days at a notorious prison operated by intelligence services before being transferred to police custody.

In a new video released on the New Humanitarian website, Abdalle recounts being taken to an underground cell run by the national intelligence agency in Mogadishu. He was repeatedly harassed and physically and mentally tortured. This has led to concerns about journalists’ safety in Somalia.

On March 28, while in Kenya, Abdalle wrote a lengthy post on his Facebook page in the Somali language. In it, he expressed his difficulties over the past few weeks. Abdalle faced several challenges, including sickness, lack of access to medical care, and being barred from leaving the country. has translated the post from Somali to English.

“Yesterday was a day that I will never forget.I was stopped for the third time from leaving the Aden Adde airport in Mogadishu. The director of the Department of Immigration, Abdul Qadir Ilmi Ali (Abdul), told me a travel ban was in place. I spent over five hours at the airport, from 10 am to 3 pm, hoping to be able to leave finally.

As I entered the airport, I was already feeling tense. To my surprise, policemen and NISA officials tried to prevent me from entering the terminal. Later, we discovered that NISA director Mahad Salad had given the order to ban my travel. This was not the first time this happened; I had been turned away from the airport on October 11, 2022, and October 18, 2022.

The past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for me. I have been sick, unable to access the medical care I need, and prevented from seeing a doctor. Even the simple act of having a family member visit me or getting some time in the sun has come at a cost, and I have proof of this. What hurts me the most is the fear and sadness that my children are feeling. They have not seen their father in six months and do not understand why.

All of these abuses have occurred in Mogadishu, where I grew up and spent most of my life. It is the place where both my parents are buried. I have lost faith in justice. The court where I sought justice for Salah Dheere and Salah Daban has turned against me. I have been targeted as an individual and a family, and the abuse and punishment I have faced is unacceptable.

I am grateful to those who have supported me during this difficult time. I want to thank the members of Parliament in both houses, the press community, the human rights community, international diplomats, lawyers, independent politicians, and the Somali public (boys and girls) who have stood by me. Your support means everything to me.

Now, as I leave Mogadishu, I am filled with mixed emotions. I have a fever, and I have lost faith in justice. I have even begun to doubt my Somaliness. I have been held captive for 166 days, and my rights as a citizen have been violated. I do not feel safe anywhere. However, I know that I will not give up. I will continue to fight for my rights and those of others unfairly targeted. I will not let this defeat me.”


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