Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has demanded the release of two journalists who were ordered to be detained by a regional court in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland on Saturday, after charging them with libel, false publication, and anti-state propaganda.
Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, chairman of the Haatuf Media Network, and Ahmed Ali, chief editor of the network, were jailed after the court's hearing.
The judge denied the journalists bail, according to Hassan Ali, the journalists' defence lawyer.
The lawyer also said the court did not provide the defence team with adequate time to present its case. The hearings will resume later this month.
"Somaliland authorities have already raided Haatuf Media Network's newsrooms, suspended its publications, and blocked its websites, but apparently they saw fit to take further steps to silence the staff and warn other journalists not to cross any red lines," said CPJ East Africa Representative Tom Rhodes.
"We urge authorities to release Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ahmed Ali immediately and stop targeting the independent press," Rhodes said.
-0- PANA SEG 13May2014