Police Abuse

Somali Journalists Claim Police Brutality, Threats at Gunpoint While Covering Court Case

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Journalists in Somalia claim they were threatened at gunpoint and beaten by police as they tried to cover a court case in Mogadishu, in the latest evidence of an official crackdown on press freedom.

At least five reporters were assaulted, some seriously, on Saturday,according to the National Union of Somali Journalists. The union leader said he believes the attack is related to recent media coverage of a woman who alleged that she was raped by uniformed men and then pressured by police to drop her case. The reporters had been invited to the court by its chairman, Hashi Elmi Nor, to cover hearings there but were "kicked out of the court" on the orders of a local police chief, the union said.