Authorities arrested Shabelle Media Network reporter Mohamed on November 20, 2013, on charges of defamation, local journalists told CPJ.
In November, a video was posted online in which Mohamed interviewed Faduma Abdulkadir, a reporter for Kasmo Voice Women Radio, who claimed she was raped at gunpoint by two journalists from state Radio Mogadishu, according to news reports. Faduma named her alleged attackers in the video. The accused denied the allegations and filed a defamation suit, according to news reports. Faduma was arrested along with Mohamed, and both were charged with defamation.
The video was posted on a personal website owned by Mohamed, but taken down after a few days, according to local journalists.
Police then arrested Shabelle Media Network Chairman Abdimalik Yusuf on November 22, 2013, after previously detaining and questioning him. He was held for “owning the camera” that was used to shoot the video, according to a statement by the Shabelle Media Network. All three were being held at the Central Prison in the capital, Mogadishu, the statement said.
Government spokesman Abdirahman Omar told CPJ that Abdimalik took part in conducting the interview and that the female journalist had fabricated the story to attain a visa. He claimed that Mohamed set up the interview as a means to target a Radio Mogadishu reporter accused of destroying some Radio Shabelle equipment.
In an interview with BBC Somali Service prior to his incarceration, Abdimalik said he took no part in conducting the interview and could not confirm the veracity of the rape allegations.
No hearings had taken place in early December 2013, and Abdimalik had not been formally charged.