IFJ Calls for Release of arrested Journalist in Somaliland

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed deep concern over the arrest on Saturday, 26th June ,2010 of Hadis Mohemed Hadis, editor of  the online paper Baadiyenews.com, an independent website published in Somaliland. Hadis is charged with “serious crimes”.

“The criminal charges slammed on our colleague are fabricated with the intention to intimidate and muzzle the independent media. Hadis is charged with a “criminal offence” for simply doing his duty in a professional way” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of IFJ Africa Office.

According to the National Union of Somali Journalists, (NUSOJ)an IFJ affiliate, uniformed officers of Somaliland’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested the journalist at Hadhwanaag Hotel in Hargeisa on Saturday evening, 26 June 2010. Concerning the reason of the arrest, the CID officers only said that they are investigating serious crimes that Hadis Mohamed Hadis is suspected to be involved in, without sufficient explanation of the “serious crimes”. The officers also confiscated digital camera of the journalist and also impounded Hadis’s car key.

NUSOJ confirm in a statement that the journalist was transferred that same night to Hargeisa central prison.

“Hadis Mohamed did not perpetrate crimes of a more serious nature that call for such arrest, which is beyond the pale. He is a victim because for his journalistic work and we believe that he is only victimized for his right to practice journalism without exploitation and suppression,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

IFJ calls on the Somaliland authorities to release Hadis immediately and without conditions and urge them
to put an end to press freedom violations and to create a more democratic environment for safe working conditions for the media in general and the private media in particular.

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The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide