The IPI global network strongly condemns the rearrest in Somalia of Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, a respected press freedom advocate and the secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS). Somali authorities must immediately and unconditionally release him and end their attacks on press freedom.

Security forces detained Mumin at the Jazeera Hotel, in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, on February 23, 2023, while he was attending a public consultation event. His rearrest was denounced and condemned by local press defense groups as part of the Somali government’s continued persecution of a well-known press freedom advocate. This is the third time that Mumin has been arrested since October.

The arrest came two weeks after the Benadir regional court sentenced Abdalle Ahmed Mumin to two months in jail following what local groups said was a sham trial. However, when he was brought to Mogadishu Central prison to serve his term, prison officials sent him away, determining that he had already completed his sentence through time served after his initial arrest on October 11, 2022.

It is not clear what the basis is behind Mumin’s rearrest, and authorities did not provide an arrest warrant. Mumin is an outspoken press advocate who was detained and dragged before courts several times over the past few months in a harassment campaign against him. His initial arrest came just after the SJS joined with other press freedom organizations to raise concerns about the government’s new anti-terrorism directive, which civil society says curtails press freedom.

Mohamed Ibrahim, presdient of SJS, told IPI that Mumin was arrested on the “verbal order” of an appeals court head. “His family is not allowed to visit him, he is detained in a tiny cell, overcrowded with already six detainees, at Mogadishu central prison, and has not been given food since yesterday”, Ibrahim said.

“Authorities must immediately release Adalle Ahmed Mumin, who is a respected press freedom advocate’’ said Amy Brouillette, IPI Director of Advocacy. “IPI strongly condemns this arbitrary arrest, which continues a campaign of harassment against Mumin and SJS for their important work defending press freedom in Somalia.”