Gambia: CPJ calls for immediate release of Somaliland journalist

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Somaliland authorities should immediately release jailed Hangool News journalist Abdirahman Arab Da'ud and cease intimidation of other members of the media, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said.

In a statement made available to PANA, CPJ said Somaliland police arrested Abdirahman on 11 April, 2017.

"It is believed that he is arrested for a news article accusing the police commissioner (Abdillahi Fadal Iman) of nepotism and clanism," Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of the Human Rights Centre in Somaliland told CPJ.

The online article was said to have been published on the Hangool News website on the same day that Abdirahman was arrested in a police raid on the Hangool News offices.

"Journalists in Somaliland must be able to operate freely and should not face intimidation by police or anyone else," remarked CPJ Africa Programme Coordinator Angela Quintal. "Criticism of those in authority is no reason for arrest."

The press freedom body said it could not determine whether Abdirahman had been charged with a crime or whether he had appeared in court.

The statement also said that on 13 April 13, Somaliland police detained three journalists covering a demonstration in Hargeisa but were released that same day.

CPJ said that in recent months, Somaliland authorities have detained and released multiple journalists.

It said journalists and others in the breakaway territory of Somalia who express views favouring reunification with Somalia are routinely arrested.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 15April2017

15 april 2017 12:47:10

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