The Committee to Protect Journalists joined six other press freedom and human rights groups in a letter Monday calling on Somali authorities to drop the criminal charges filed against Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, a press freedom advocate and freelance journalist.
Authorities arrested Abdalle, secretary-general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate press freedom group, on October 11, after the syndicate and other local rights groups raised concern that a government directive broadly prohibiting the “dissemination of extremism ideology” would negatively impact press freedom, as CPJ documented at the time.
Abdalle is free on bail while facing charges of bringing the Somali state into contempt, instigating disobedience of government orders, and nonobservance of government orders, the letter states, saying that he is due back in court on January 4.
The signatories called on Somali Attorney General Sulayman Mohamed Mohamoud to drop those charges, noting that Abdalle had suffered violations to his right to a fair trial and that his continued prosecution casts “a chilling effect on media freedom and journalism” in the country.
Find the letter here and its supplemental documents here.