Somaliland: SOLJA Report Shows an Increase of Journalists Harassment in 2012

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SOLJA Releases Journalists Harassment Report for 2012 that shows an increase of harassment of journalists in the country as well as the death of reporter Ahmed Elias who died in Las Anod on October 23, 2012 becoming the first journalist to be assassinated in the Republic of Somaliland.

By: Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – In its annual census of imprisoned harassment, detention journalists, Somaliland journalist Association SOLJA identified 81 individuals put behind bars since beginning of 2012, which is a dramatic increase over its 2011 tally.

This is annual Special report by SOLJA of Harassment, detention and imprisonment of journalists in Somaliland

Ahmed was the first work-related fatality Republic of Somaliland. October 23, 2012, in Las Anod,

In its tally of harassment against journalists the Somaliland journalist Association SOLJA began surveys in 2003 found out that that state brutality thus a muzzling of freedom of speech in Somaliland reached highest point in 2012.SOLJA identified 81 individuals having been put behind bars by December 16- 2012, an increase over its 2011 tally.

Note: The harassment, detention and imprisonment against Somaliland Journalists are unlawful, illegal and injustice that do not comply with standards on freedom of media expression, and do not comply with Somaliland’s media law.Ahmed Farah Ilyas: 1st Journalist assasinated in Somaliland

All of these arrests were not based in legal. But on contrary the government officials orders the police the arrest without any legal frame work.

“The press has a huge role to play in efforts to improve human rights and democracy across Africa, Hence an Urgent measures must be taken to uphold the fundamental rights and freedom of expression for Somaliland reporters.” SOLJA Slogan

Somaliland Media Report on January-December 2012

1. January 02, 2012 – Abdirahman Ali Duale of HCTV and Abdiqani Hassan Farah of Universal TV and Barkhad Omar Abdi Somaliland national TV were arrested in Las anod.

2. January, 08 , 2012 – Yusuf Abdi Ali, a reporter for the Royal TV, was arrested by Borama Police, after being accused of making false allegations about corruption and management problems in local development projects done by Local NGO. It was later released the reporter again without charges.

3. January, 09, 2012 – Mr. Ali Ismail Aare, a reporter for the weekly Waheen Newspaper, was arrested on 11 January by the Awdal Police, for taking photos of a service station and a building belonging to Somaliland’s vice-president.

4. January, 09, 2012 – Mohamed Omar Sheikh, a reporter for the Saxafi Newspaper, was arrested the same day for writing articles deemed likely to create conflict in the Awdal region.

5. Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA)—an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting good practices and freedom of expression on behalf of the country’s journalists and media have succeeded to releases Ali Aare and Mohamed Omar Sheikh on January 18, 2012, after SOLJA demanding to the Presidential Minister Mr. Hirsi Ali their colleague’s immediate unconditional release.

6. January, 09, 2012- Abdiqani Hassan Farah “Gadari”, a Universal TV reporter in Las anod, was arrested on a charge of “exaggerating reports of a meeting that created instability in the Sool, Sanaag and Eyn regions.” Especially Tale conference”. And later was released after two days detention.

Press freedom day7. January, 13, 2012- Police Chief Commander in Erigavo has ordered the arrest of Abdirizaq Haji Ahmed, Somaliland National TV reporter in Erigavo, on misinformed the public on issues concerning opinion supports Talleh conference, which Somaliland authorities seems its enemy, published on the internet. Abdirizaq is being released after two days spend in custody and no charges have been laid against the reporter. Mr. Abdirizaq denies the allegations and discuss, There is no need to publish opinions against the Somaliland since he works the Nation’s media.

8. January-14, 2012-Somaliland government has shut down the private Horn Cable TV station in Hargeisa city after the president, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, had described it as a “nation destructor” for broadcasting anti-government propaganda. Police ordered the entire staff to leave and sealed the premises without a warranty.

9. January-15-2012 22 journalists who demonstrated outside the presidential palace about the closure of Horn Cable TV station in Somaliland were arrested, they were attacked and beaten by SPU forces and were taken to Police headquarter in Hargeisa, who included six women.

10. Somaliland Journalist Association has finally release the journalists, after being held for more than 24 hours. And later the Television on air again. This is the list of 22 journalists who were arrested on 15 January.

I. Mohamud Abdi Jama, editor-in-chief, Waheen newspaper

II. Mohamed Omar Abdi, editor-in-chief, Jamahiriya newspaper

III. Ahmed Aden Dhere, reporter, Haatuf newspaper

IV. Mohamed Said Harago, head of news, Berber newsArrested for protest demonstration against HCTV closure

V. Najah Adam Unaye, director, Hadhwanaagnews

VI. Suhur Bare, reporter, Horn Cable TV

VII. Abdiqani Abdilahi Ahmed, reporter, Hadhwanaagnews

VIII. Mohamed Ahmed Muse, reporter, Horn Cable TV

IX. Mohamed Fayr, reporter, Geeska Africa newspaper

X. Saleban Abdi Ali Kalshaale, reporter, Waaheen newspaper

XI. Khalid Hamdi Ahmed, reporter, Waaheen newspaper

XII. Nimo Omar Mohmed Sabriye, presenter, HornCable TV

XIII. Hamsa Ali Bulbul, reporter, HornCable TV

XIV. Mohamed Ahmed Muse Kurase, reporter, HornCable TV

XV. Abdirahman Sheik Yunes, presenter, HornCable TV

XVI. Ayan Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV

XVII. Nimo’Diriye, reporter, HornCable TV

XVIII. Hodan Ali Ajabi, reporter, HornCable TV

XIX. Safiya Nuh Sheikh Presenter Horn Cable TV

XX. Ahmed Abdirahman Hersi, news editor,

11. January 23, 2012 – Borame -Abdiaziz Ibrahim Abdillahi of Subulaha News, a local website, was detained in Borama District, Awdal. He was released January 24

12. February 13, 2012 – Hargeisa-Mustafa Abdikarim Ali (Mustafa Future), Editor of Caalami Newspaper and Director of Gabiley.net. and chairman of caalami newspaper Mohamed Yusuf Omer was arrested

13. February,03,2012- brother of the president of Somaliland ali Mohamed Mohammuod (ali digirin ) in hargeisa was arrested two reporters of royal tv that two reporters was called CAWAALE MUXUMED FARAX AND C/FATAAX AADAN CIRO.

14. 20, February, 2012: Somaliland police arrested the Administrative Director of Ogaal Newpspaper in Hargeisa,Hassan omer Hassan and Mohamed abdi hasssan (boosh) works with the website of ramaasnews and royal tv. linking to the newspaper’s coverage of militia loyal to ONLF landed in Bulo-Addo (a village in the western coast in Salal region near Zaila).

15. February, 22, 2012 Borame-mohamed abdirahman ismail reporter of subulahanews was arrested in borame central station While in custody, Abdirahman was beaten by four police officers with sticks and the butt of a gun until he lost consciousness, local journalists and news reports said. Police took the journalist to Borama Hospital, where he was treated in the intensive care unit for his internal injuries, according to local journalists and news reports. He was moved to Hargeisa Hospital 28, February, so he could receive more advanced treatment.

16. March, 11, 2012- Adan Abdi Iidle was arrested in Gabiley, after his arrest was ordered by the Gabiley Governor.

17. March, 31, 2012- Laasaanood- ahmed cali farah arrested in laasaanood after the governor of Sool region ordered his arrest ,ahmed was working in Royal tv, and the reason they told why the reporters are reporting to taleex ,or khaatumo state.

18. April, 2, 2012-Laasaanood- abdisamad kayse mahamuud universal TV

19. April 13, 2012 – Caynabo -Mohamed Adam Dirir of Somali Channel was arrested. for reporting food

20. April 15, 2012 – Hargeisa -Abdiqaddir Adam Arab of Waaheen, Mustafa Future of Caalami newspaper and Sacad Musa of Gabiley.net were detained. When they took a photo or picture some people was demonstrating

21. April 19, 2012 – Laasaanood-Mohammed Shaqalle of Universal was arrested.

22. April 20, 2012 –Laasaanood- Ahmed Issa Gutale of BBC was arrested.

23. April 22, 2012 – Hargeisa -9 Soldiers from Somaliland Police forces made illegal inspections to the house of YOOL Newspaper Editor, Mohammed abdi Urad and arrested few hours in C.I.D Office of hargeisa

24. April 24, 2012 –Hargeisa- Abdifatah Mursal, the Editor-in-chief of Ogaal Newspaper was arrested 2 hours inside the regional court.

25. April 24, 2012 – Abdillaahi Hussien Darwiish of Waaheen and Royal Tv was arrested in Erigavo town of Sanaag Region.

26. May, 01, 2012-burco -2 reporters was arrested in burco mahad faarax c/laahi of geeska afrika newspaper and c/maalik coldoon of somaliset tv burco Working with geeska afrika and Somali sat was arrested in burco

27. May 11, 2012 at 05:29 AM Berbera- Saaxil reporter Mohamed C/lahi Farah(soo-fadhiste) was arrested by the regional governor Ramax for apparently unspecified reasons, the governor ordered the arrest of the reporter without a court issued warrant.

28. Tuesday, 15 May 2012- Saxafi Media Network chairman Abdifatah Mahamud Aidid was briefly detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (C I D) headquarters after he was accused during the trial at the trial officials accused of embezzlement, during the recesses as the witnesses said the Chairman of Saxafi Abdifatah took a picture of without any authorization to take the pictures.

29. Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:00, five journalists are arrested in Somaliland by the police, after several armed militias attacked a military base near the old factory located on the eastside of the capital city of Somaliland .four of them at other hand abdi abokor said was arrested on burao taxi station when he were distributing the newspaper.

I. Maxamed cabdi curad editor of yool newspaper and he was released from custody 2 weeks after he was arrested on 30th of May 2012.

II. Khadar hayaan Hussein reporter of yool newspaper and he was released from custody on 23 May 2012.

III. Cali Hassan sugule reporter of universal TV released after he was detained for several hours

IV. Hassan maal dhidar Released also after detained for several hours

V. Abdi Abokor said chairman of xogogaal newspaper after he was detained for several hours.

30. June, 11, 2012- Mr. Jamal Abdi Muhumed freelance journalist was arrested

31. On 10-July 2012 reporter of gadari was arrested in laascaanood with the police ordered

32. 05 August 2012 hodan abokor caafi was arrested and beaten on central police station of the borame to deputy of police commissioner of the regional of borema

33. On 13th September 2012, Hashim Sheikh Omar God and Mursal Elmi Omar regional correspondents of the Somali satellite TVs of SomSat and Bulsho TV respectively, were arrested after they were accused that they published stories about the Somalia’s New elected president. But they were later released without charge.

34. On 19th September: Abdi-Samad Mohamed Abdillahi a Universal TV reporter was arrested.

35. On 23rd September: Ayanle Abdillahi Diriye, A reporter from the Somaliland’s National TV was arrested by Zaila (the capital of the Salal region far west coast of Somaliland) after the permanent secretary of the local government ordered his arrest.

36. Abdi Malik Mousa Coldon, works for Somsat TV on 26/09/2012, was beaten and arrested in burao.

37. On 28th September: Abdifatah M Aidid former a member of the editorial board of Saxafi Media Network was arrested, linking of a news coverage about the CIA arrival in Hargeisa. The government accused him, that his newspaper published story against the interest of the country. But he was released later without charge.

38. On 9th October 2012, Abdi-Fatah Dheg Ahmed the chairman of Saxafi Media Network has been arrested, after Somaliland’s newly RRU (Rapit Re-Action Unit) police attacked his home in Hargreaves, claiming that police wanted people were in the house. But he was later released without charge.

39. On 12th October: Mohamed Shaqale Universal TV was arrested. in laascaanood

40. On 14 October Adnan salax a journalist works for Bocamenews.com was arrested. in Las Anod

Mohamed-Rashid of SOLJA poses at the entrance to the AU Conference Centre in Addis Ababa41. Also in the same week, Abdikarim Dol from Somali Channel was arrested.

42. The most shocking event in Somaliland since 1991, was the assassination of Ahmed Sakin Elyas Farah on 24/10/2012 in heart of Las-anod Ahmed was the SOLJA representative in Sool region and a Somali Satellite TV Universal correspondent in the region.

Even though we were expecting the government of Somaliland will react soon. But it is unfortunate that even the regional governor of Sool didn’t participated the funeral of the journalist. On contrary the government started to search the journalists who reported that no one from the government of Somaliland participate the funeral.

43. 17november 2012 faisal jama adan reporter of united nations radio BARKULAN was arrested in las-anod by the order of the governor but he is released next day when Mohamed-rashid muhumed farah the secretary general of solja push to the governor to release the journalists

44. 18/November, 2012 Abdiqani Ismail Goox reporter of Somali sat tv was arrested in las- anod

45. 13/decembar, 2012 mohamuod abdi jama xuuto chairman of waaheen newspaper was arrested in cid

46. 15, decembar, 2012 mahamed adan dirir Somali channel reporter was arrested in caynabo solja released 1pm on 16/12/2012

47. 16/12/2012 ,mukhtaar mursal xiin ,maxamed daauud yuusuf,maxamed axmed muuse kuraase,waliid c/raxmaan cali working horn cable tv was arrested on hargeisa by the order of commander of daloodho police station regarding demonstration that took place today

81 (total of harassment detention and killing journalist Somaliland)

Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah

Secretary General of SOLJA

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