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Somalia: Radio Garowe Reporter beaten up by security guards

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online
Radio Garowe reporter Khalif Gelle Aden assaulted by Puntland President's body guards in Garowe on Sunday, 25 Feb [File photo]

GAROWE, Puntland - The Security guards of the President of Somalia's northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali "Gaas" have beaten up journalist Khalif Gelle Aden in Garowe, the state capital, Garowe Online reports.

Aden working for Radio Garowe, a community Radio Station based in Garowe city has been roughed up by President Ali's body guards outside Bosaso University's Garowe Campus on Sunday morning, while he was there to film a graduation ceremony.

Speaking to GO, Aden said one of the Presidential guards pointed his pistol towards his head at first before being assaulted and severely tortured. The President and other state officials were attending the event held for graduating students at the time.

"I have been driving to Bosaso University Garowe campus on assignment to film the Graduation ceremony, when I moved closer to the site there has been a military vehicle blocked on the road, then a soldier gave an order to turn around, I told him that I'm a journalist from Radio Garowe and showed him my camera, but, he did not pay attention and subsequently began insulting me, then another soldier in the area pointed his pistol at me as I got in my car, a third soldier slapped me on the face, the guards pulled me out of the vehicle and they punched and kicked me," said Aden.

Continuing, the journalist added: "I was beaten up until became unconscious, after I left the area, I received a phone call from the chief of Presidential guards and he asked me about my ordeal, then he informed me that he will look into the incident."

Aden, currently suffering from several injures on the his head and chest said he was assaulted by the President's security guards with no crime he committed and showed no disobedience for the soldiers when they stopped him at the University building.

This is a part of the constant abuses against journalists working in Somalia in general and Puntland in particular. On 9th May 2014, the state Presidential guards blocked Ahmed Awil, the managing Director of Radio Garowe from attending a press conference.

Since President Ali came to power in January 2014, there has been surge in the harassment against Media workers and violations of the Freedom of Speech as he promised to end all these atrocities during his election campaign.