MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today 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 (http://baligubadlemedia.com/) was arrested after officers at Hargeisa’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) summoned 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 health of Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. Baligubadle Online Media reported Silanyo is in London for medical treatment but officials denied and termed his visit for “family visit”. Robleh was summoned by the CID three weeks before but let him go after intensive questioning.
Police did not explain the reason behind the arrest & detention of Aabi but journalists and his co-workers believe that Mohammed Aabi was arrested for entertainment programme recorded in Hargeisa, which was broadcasted by Universal TV. Somaliland banned Universal TV to operate 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 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.”