Al-Jazeera crew detained for 2 days in Somalia

A crew from international broadcaster Al-Jazeera were detained on October 18, 2016, shortly after returning to Mogadishu from assignment, and released on October 20.

The broadcaster said in a statement on October 19 that reporter Hamza Mohamed and a driver, fixer, and cameraman were arrested the previous afternoon. It said authorities had not formally leveled any charges against the journalists.

Information Minister Mohamed Abdi did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for comment on why the Al-Jazeera journalists were detained.

Somali authorities informed journalists who visited the detained Al-Jazeera team that they were being held in relation to a reporting trip they made to an area held by Al-Shabaab, where they interviewed some leaders of the militant group, according to The Associated Press, which cited Hassan Gesey, director of the advocacy group Somali Independent Media Houses Association.

The arrests came days after one of Somalia’s oldest newspapers, Xog Ogaal, was shuttered and its editor, Abdi Aden Guled, detained.

Abdi, who was arrested on October 15, was released on October 18, but it wasn’t clear when the newspaper might resume operations.