Home LAND:
Somaliland Arrest Journalists In Las-Anod
Officials Silent On Lack of Press Freedom
By MOHAMED BEERDHIGE 04/03/2012
Journalist Abdiwali Hassan jim'aale, Voice of Hiiraan.
Journalist Abdiwali Hassan jim'aale, Voice of Hiiraan.
Police in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Somaliland have arrested and detained two journalists in Las-Anod town accusing them of reporting propaganda regarding Sunday’s battle in Las-Anod and Buhodle regions. The fighting involved Somaliland forces and militia loyal to the newly declared Khatumo state in Sool region.

According to witnesses and local radio, Abdisaman Isse Mohamud (Keyse), a reporter for Universal TV was arrested for hyperbolic reporting on the Khatumo conference which occurred in Taleh on December 16 2011. Abdisamad was visiting a previously arrested colleague and Somali Royal TV reporter Ahmed Ali Farah in jail when he was also arrested. Ahmed Ali Farah who was arrested two days ago was transferred to the main prison today without any official charges against him.

“Both journalists are now imprisoned in Las-Anod. Somaliland police arrested Ahmed Ali Farah while on official duty and imprisoned him two days ago. He was transferred to the main jail today without trail. Abdisamad was arrested today and police are seeking other journalist in Las-Anod. Soon, others will fill the prison,” Faisal Jama, a local journalist in Las-Anod told Somalia Report by phone.

Journalist added that, police accused the them of reporting on news about Khatumo State. They are seeking reporters of the Khatumo conference in Taleh where the newly formed state of Khatumo was declared. Somalia Report contacted Somaliland‘s Chairman of Sool region Mohamud Mohamed Ali, but he chose not to immediately comment on the detention of the journalists. It is not the first time that the Somaliland administration has detained journalists in relation to information on the disputed region of Sool. Six journalists were previously arrested in January this year.

Press freedom remains an elusive goal for journalists in Somaliland.