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Authorities arrest two journalists reporting on regional conflict

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - NUSOJ protests the 26 November 2007 arrest of journalists Abdiqani Hassan Farah and Mohammed Shakale in Las Anod town of Sool region.

Somaliland armed forces arrested the two journalists separately in the city centre of Las Anod, according to news reports and journalists in Las Anod who reported to NUSOJ.

The motive behind the arrest of Farah, a reporter for radio Las Anod and stringer for the Hargeisa-based "Jamhuuriya" newspaper, and of freelance online journalist Shakale, remains unknown. However, some journalists believe that the arrests relate to their media work as both report on the highly sensitive topic of the armed conflict between Puntland and Somaliland.

Both journalists are being held at Las Anod central police station. The Somaliland authorities and the Las Anod administration did not offer statements on the imprisonment of the journalists.

"We protest the detention of these two journalists as an illegitimate move", said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "We demand from the Somaliland authorities the immediate and unconditional return of the freedoms of Abdiqani Hassan Farah and Mohammed Shakale".

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