Sign up for weekly updates

Director of banned TV station, editor of online news site arrested in Somaliland

Somaliland President Somaliland President Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo stands to salute troops in Hargeisa, 18 May 2013
Somaliland President Somaliland President Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo stands to salute troops in Hargeisa, 18 May 2013

REUTERS/Feisal Omar

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has accused the Somaliland authorities of waging a renewed campaign of intimidation against media after the police arrested two journalists.

On Sunday, 27 July 2014, journalist Ahmed Adan Robleh, editor of Baligubadle Online Media was arrested after officers at Hargeisa's Criminal Investigations Department (CID) summoned him on 26 July. In a separate incident, Mohamed Aabi, director of Universal TV in Somaliland, was arrested Sunday evening (27 July) by the police.

Robleh was accused of "misreporting" and "spreading false information" with regard to the health of Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo.

Baligubadle Online Media reported that Silanyo is in London for medical treatment, but officials denied this and termed his a “family visit”. Robleh was summoned by the CID three weeks before, but was let go after intensive questioning.

Police did not explain the reason behind the arrest and detention of Aabi, but journalists and his co-workers believe that Mohammed Aabi was arrested over an entertainment programme recorded in Hargeisa, which was broadcast by Universal TV. Somaliland has banned Universal TV from operating in its territory.

"Ahmed Adan Robleh and Mohammed Aabi are the latest victim journalists of the Somaliland government-led campaign to stifle media freedom and public debate on the current issues," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. "There is systematic repression and brutal intimidation of media and journalists under the cloak of reporting 'false information' and illegitimate 'ban'."

NUSOJ called on Somaliland's authorities to end the reign of repression that is being unleashed against free expression and journalism in Somaliland. "Somaliland journalists are citizens and are entitled to report on issues worth reporting without being harassed."

Latest Tweet:

Directors #CayanDemirel & @emavioglu are facing possible prison time for their documentary #Bakur. A decision in th…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.