Three Journalists Jailed Without Charges in Somaliland
MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is extremely troubled by continued attacks against journalists by Somaliland police following the further arrest of two journalists in the town of Boorama on Wednesday 11, 2011 and Universal TV Reporter held without charges for the fourth day in the town of Las-Anod of Sool region.
Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent and Mohamed Omar, Saxafi Correspondent, were arrested on Wednesday noon around 1:00pm local time respectively by the Somaliland police in the town of Boorama of Awdal region. The journalists were detained at the CID in Boorama since Wednesday. However, Mohamed Omar, Saxafi Correspondent was released on Thursday, 12 January, 2012 without charges. It was not immediately known the reason behind his arrest.
Waaheen and Saxafi are both independent newspapers issued at Hargeysa, Somaliland.
However, Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent, was arrested on Thursday noon for allegedly taking photographs on petrol station owned by the vice president, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail better known as Saylici, according to Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), a partner to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
He was supposed to appear in court on Thursday, but was postponed till Saturday.
Meanwhile, Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter in Laas-Aanod is still held at the Central Station of Las-Anod in Sool region for the fourth day without bringing him to court. . Gadari informed NUSOJ before he was arrested that his arrest was ordered by the Somaliland minister of information through the Mayor of the Las-Anod town. He still remains in jail without bringing him to court.
NUSOJ is concerned by the apparent attempts of intimidation against the journalists by the Somaliland police providing that It is not crime to take photographs to a petrol station and is a clear violation against the freedom of expression and calls for the Somaliland authorities to stop the rampant arrests against the journalists and jailing them without charges.
"The string of arrests against the journalists by the Somaliland police without warrants is an apparent intimidation against journalists in covering news stories critical to their administration," Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "We demand from the Somaliland authorities to immediately release the journalists or bring them before fair court."
Meanwhile, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and its partner organization, the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) have been trying to secure a lawyer for the Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali who was arrested by Somaliland police in the town of Borame on January 8, 2011 after he allegedly wrote about corruption over the regional projects of Awdal region implemented by local NGO.
A court in the town of Boorama ordered the journalist to remain in jail for 45 days on January 10, 2012, until the police investigations are completed, which is unlawful and even contrary to the Somaliland constitution and the Somaliland Media law.