Somaliland authorities on Monday (December 9th) released from jail several reporters who were arrested for holding protests and reporting on political issues in the region, while one reporter remains imprisoned on the outskirts of Hargeisa.
Said Khadar and Abdulsalam Abdirashid Ali, who work for Hargeisa-based Bulsho TV, Hassan Maal, a photographer with Universal TV, and independent reporter Abdiaziz Bashir Nur were arrested last Tuesday after protesting the release of a man accused of attacking Hubaal newspaper headquarters in April.
The four were released on bond from Hargeisa jail, Secretary General of the Somaliland Journalists Association Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah told Sabahi.
“Even though their families and journalists were barred from visiting them in the central jail, they were released under the guarantee of the Chairperson of the National Commission for Human Rights Farhia Hussein Jahur and the Minister of Education Zamzam Abdi Adam,” Farah said.
They were released to make the situation appear less serious because December 10th is Human Rights Day, Farah said. “[B]ut they can be put back in jail any time,” he added.
Four other reporters — Ali Hassan Sugule and Abdirashid Abdiwahab Hussein of Universal TV, Faisal Mohamed Adam of Royal TV, and Najib Abdullahi Olad of Bulsho TV — were arrested Monday after reporting on political issues in Jalelo and released later that night.
“They went there to report on the complaints of elders who refused a new district administration named by the deputy minister of defence for Jalelo after dismissing the previous administration,” Farah said. “But when the reporters came back, they were arrested on the eastern checkpoint of Hargeisa and returned to Dar-Buruq district where they were jailed.”
Meanwhile, a reporter for Wahen Newspaper in Awdal province, Ali Ismail Arre, has been in the Borama jail since December 2nd after he reported on the complaints some people had against the mayor of that city Suleiman Hassan Hadi, according to Farah.