SOMALILAND: Four Journalists Arrested for HUBAAL Demo

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By: G.A. Maher

Hargeisa: (Somalilandsun): Four journalists were arrested in a protest match pertaining to the release from custody of a police constable accused of masterminding the attack of offices of a local daily newspaper (Hubaal) seven months ago.

In a case now dubbed then Hubaal Saga two crooked policemen purportedly acting from orders of an unnamed senior government official raided the media house armed with pistols and machetes whereby they seriously injured the head of the institution Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Jama Aloley.

The reporters were carrying placards whose graffiti urged the government to let the law take its course in a transparent manner. They also asked the government why it had given back freedom to a dangerous man and thus their protest. They want him to be brought to a court of law.

The journalists in police custody have been denied visiting rights from their colleagues who attempted to reach them at the central police station in Hargeisa. The government remains tight lipped concerning the arrests.

Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA) condemned with the strongest terms possible what they call trampling on the rights of press freedom.

The Secretary General of SOLJA Mr. Mohammed Rashid Muhummed Farah speaking in a press conference after the arrests urged the government to immediately and unconditionally release the four journalists. He advised the government to respect freedom of expression in the country and the independence of free press and stop intimidating journalists who are only just doing their work.

The protest was organized by Hubaal Media network.

The four journalists in police custody are Mr. Said Khadar Abdillahi (Bulsho TV), Mr. Abdisalan Abdirashid (Bulsho TV) Mr. Hassan Maal-didar (Universal TV) and Mr. Abdiaziz Bashir Nour from Hog-reeb News Website.

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