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NUSOJ condemns continued detention of journalist by Puntland authorities

(NUSOJ/IFEX) - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the continued and illegal detention, incommunicado, of a Somali online reporter in the commercial port town of Bossasso by the Puntland Intelligence Service (PIS).

The reporter, Yusuf Ali Adan, was working for the news website until his capture three months ago in June 2010. NUSOJ fears for his safety and well-being.

According to local journalists in Bossasso, Adan, who was the Bossasso correspondent for the news organisation, was jailed by the PIS and has been kept in a secret prison since June.

The motive for his arrest was not officially stated. However, it is widely believed that Adan wrote critical articles against the Puntland Administration that led to his arrest. The articles mainly touched on piracy links. Since then, the whereabouts of the reporter have not been disclosed.

NUSOJ demands that the Puntland authorities bring Adan to a formal court, where charges against him can be made public, or immediately release him if no charges are laid so that he can join his family and colleagues. NUSOJ wants his whereabouts to be made public so that his family and colleagues can visit him.

A journalist who spoke on condition of anonymity from the town of Bossasso said he doesn't really know where the PIS imprisoned Adan, but all he knows is that the journalist is not in any of the Puntland jails.

The press freedom situation in Puntland has been deteriorating lately, especially since the anti-terrorism law was put in place by the administration, stoking fears that the safety and security of journalists in the area could be heavily compromised.

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