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Editor arrested for "serious crimes"

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) expresses deep concern over the arrest of journalist Hadis Mohamed Hadis, editor of http://www.baadiyenews.com , an independent news website published in Somaliland.

Uniformed officers with Somaliland's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Hadis at Hadhwanaag Hotel in Hargeisa, on the evening of 26 June 2010. When asked about the reason for the arrest, the CID officers said only that they were investigating "serious crimes" that they suspected Hadis to be involved in, without sufficient explanation of what the "serious crimes" might be.

"Hadis Mohamed did not perpetrate any crime that would call for such an arrest, which is beyond the pale. He was targeted for his journalistic work and we believe that he is once more being victimized for exercising his right to practice journalism without exploitation and suppression," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

Journalists present at the time of the arrest told NUSOJ that the officers also confiscated the journalist's digital camera and impounded his car. The journalist was transferred the same night to Hargeisa's central prison.

NUSOJ demands the immediate release of Hadis. "The Somaliland authorities must drop these vague and fabricated charges against the editor," Faruk added.

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