Gambia: CPJ calls for immediate release of Somaliland journalist

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland should immediately release detained journalist, Mohamed Adan Dirir, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said.

In a statement, made available to PANA on Friday, the press freedom watchdog disclosed that Mohamed, the editor of the online news portal, Horseed Media, had been jailed without charge since Somaliland Health Minister Saleban Isee ordered police to arrest him after he asked a question at a May 24 press conference.

According to CPJ, Mohamed's question was critical of the minister's performance, and implied the minister's work may have been impaired by alcohol, which is banned in Somaliland.

Saleban, who was said to have been angered by Mohamed's question, promptly ordered police to arrest the journalist and detained him without charge in the Criminal Investigation Department in the capital, Hargeisa.

The Somaliland constitution requires authorities to charge or release suspects within 48 hours of their arrest.

"Mohamed Adan Dirir's detention without charge flies in the face of his constitutional rights and suggests that this government's most senior officials believe themselves above questioning," remarked CPJ Africa Program Coordinator, Angela Quintal.

"Authorities should release Mohamed immediately and stop trying to prevent journalists from doing their work."

According to the statement, Somaliland government's attempts to suppress the media are increasing and in recent months, CPJ has documented the arrest and detention of many journalists in the territory, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 3June2017

03 june 2017 14:19:54

xhtml CSS