UNCAC Coalition expresses concern regarding judicial action against Somali Journalists Syndicate

17 May 2024 –

The UNCAC Coalition, a network of more than 400 civil society organizations worldwide, today expressed concern regarding a recent judicial decision by Somali authorities to freeze the bank accounts of media freedom organization, the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), a member of the UNCAC Coalition network. 

On 9 April 2024, the Banadir Regional Court ordered the suspension of SJS’s bank accounts in connection with an investigation by the country’s Attorney General’s office. 

SJS is a prominent media freedom organization that is known for exposing instances of corruption at various levels of Somalia’s institutions. The group has faced retaliation and arbitrary actions by authorities in the past. 

“The decision to freeze the bank accounts of the Somali Journalists Syndicate comes within a clear context of persecution and retaliation by national authorities,” said Mathias Huter, Managing Director of the UNCAC Coalition. 

On 11 October 2022, authorities detained the group’s Secretary General, Abdalle Mumin, after the publication of a statement denouncing a government directive that would allegedly restrict freedom of expression in the country. In August 2023, authorities detained the group’s Information and Human Rights Secretary, Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul, after he published a video accusing police of misappropriating foreign funds. In August 2023, a cyberattack knocked the organisation’s website offline. And in January 2024, officers from the country’s National Intelligence Agency stormed a training organised by the group and tried to obtain confidential information from participants. 

“We call on Somali authorities to refrain from any further retaliation against SJS, and to guarantee the rights of freedom of expression and association in the country”, said Huter. 

“Somalia – as a State Party to the UNCAC – should respect Article 13 of the Convention which calls for States to respect, protect and promote the freedom to publish and distribute information regarding corruption.” 

About the UNCAC Coalition 

The UNCAC Coalition is a global network of more than 400 civil society organizations dedicated to monitoring and ensuring implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It stands as one of the largest and most active civil society anti-corruption networks worldwide.