Somaliland Releases 22 Journalists, Urged to Release the Rest and Allow the Television to Resume Operations
MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the release of the 22 journalists who were detained by the Somaliland authorities in a systematic media crack down campaign that continues the second week and appeals the release of the three other journalists still held without charges and allow the Horn Cable television to resume its operations.
The Somaliland authorities released 21 journalists on Monday 16 January, 2012 without any further condition and their names are written here below as confirmed by the Somaliland Journalists Association.
HORN CABLE TELEVISION (Editors, Reporters, Presenters and Newscasters) 1. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, Head of News Programs 2. Ahmed Abdirahman Hersi, News Editor 3. Nimco Mohamed Sabriye, Presenter 4. Nimco Diirie, Producer 5. Ayaan Diirie 6. Hodan Ali Ajabi, 7. Safia Sheik Nuh, 8. Suhur Barre, 9. Mohamed Ahmed Kurase 10. Abdirahman Sheik Yonis
NEWSPAPERS (Editors and Reporters)
11. Mohamoud Abdi Jama (Xuuto), Editor in Chief of Waaheen Newspaper 12. Mohamed Omar Abdi, Chief Editor of Jamhuuriya Newspaper 13. Khaalid Hamdi Ahmed, Reporter of Waaheen Newspaper 14. Jama Omar Abdullahi, Reporter, Waaheen newspaper 15. Saleban Ali Kalshaale, Reporter of Waaheen Newspaper 16. Mohamed Mohamoud Haybe, Reporter of Geeska Africa Newspaper 17. Ahmed Adan Dhere, Reporter of Haatuf Newspaper
ONLINE NEWS WEBSITES (Reporters)
18. Najah Adan Unaye, Hadhwanaagnews
19. Abdiqani Abdilahi Asparo, Hardhwanaagnews 20. Mohamed Said Harago, Berberanews.
21. Muse Siyad Ali - Freelance reporter
The journalists were arrested on Sunday January 15, 2012 by Somaliland police, some of whom severely beaten during a protest at the presidential palace which the journalists were demanding from Somaliland authorities to stop its attacks against the journalists and the media station.
The journalists' protests follows after the Somaliland police raided the offices of the privately owned Horn cable televisions on Saturday evening, forcing all the media workers and the journalists to leave, followed by a week long campaign of arrests by the Somaliland police.
The journalists were released by Col. Mohamed Saqadhi Dubad, Somaliland Police Chief with the orders of the Somaliland Minister of Interior, Mohamed Nor Arale better known as Duur after meeting with journalists leaders led from Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), a NUSOJ partner. During the meeting, the Somaliland Interior Minister, Mr. Arale agreed the release of the journalists who were detained on Monday unconditionally. Though, the television still remains under suspension.
In a separate incident, the National Union of Somali Journalists
(NUSOJ) learned that Somaliland police detained Abdirisaq Haghi Ahmed, a SomaliSat Television, a privately owned Television that broadcasts via satellite on 14 January, 2012 around 8:00am local time in the town of Erigabo of Sanaag region. Mr. Ahmed was arrested after he interviewed youth that was in support of a recent Taleeh conference that announced its own independent regional state, which infuriated the Somaliland authorities and led to the major journalists'
However, Ali Aareye, Waheen Borama Correspondent, who arrested on January 12, 2012 for allegedly taking photographs on petrol station owned by the vice president, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail better known as Saylici is still in custody. He was supposed to appear in court on Saturday and Sunday, but delayed to Tuesday.
Meanwhile, A court in the town of Boorama ordered Royal TV reporter Yusuf Ali who was arrested on January 8, 2012 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.
"We call for the Somaliland authorities to respect the freedom of expression and free the journalists illegally kept in custody without charges immediately or put them before fair court, while we welcome the release of the 22 journalists released." Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said, "Keeping journalists more than 48 hours is a total violation to the basic human rights principles and therefore stop its campaign in silencing the independent press."
In another development, Somaliland Police released Abdiqani Hassan Farah Gadari, a universal TV reporter on Sunday 16 January, 2012.
Gadari was detained on January 9. 2011 in the town of Laas-Anod, after he was accused of reporting a conference which the Somaliland authorities were not happy with it. He was released after 8 days in custody without charges. 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, numbering the total of released journalists on Sunday and Monday to 22.