The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today voiced its concerns over
the deterioration of press freedom in the self-declared republic of Somaliland
following the arrests of two journalists, Mohamed Osman Mire and Ahmed Suleyman
Dhuhul of radio Horoyaal.
"We are deeply concerned about the press freedom situation in Somaliland," said Gabriel Baglo,
Director of IFJ Africa Office. "These latest arrests confirm a worrying pattern
of intimidation and harassment of the independent media in the country."
According to the National Union of Somali Journalists( NUSOJ), an IFJ
affiliate, Mohamed Osman Mire, also known as Siyad and Ahmed Suleyman Dhuhul, respectively
Director and News Editor of Horyaal Radio were arrested on 13 July by Somaliland police at the offices of the radio station in
Hargeisa. The two journalists are detained at the Criminal Investigation
Division's headquarters. The police had produced arrest warrants for the
journalists before taking them away, according to journalists in Somaliland.
The journalists' arrests followed the broadcast
of 10 July by the station about the meeting between Somaliland President Dahir
Rayae Kahin and 25 elders from Gabiley town, which was held behind closed doors
and reportedly ended in disagreement, according to sources in Somaliland.
The NUSOJ denounced political interference in the work of journalists in Somaliland and accused
politicians in the breakaway republic of attempting to control and manipulate media.
"We condemn this climate of intimidation and
fear targeting journalists in Somaliland. The
detention of Mohamed Osman Mire and Ahmed Suleyman Dhuhul is unlawful and a sign
of a campaign to suppress independent journalism for political reasons," said
Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary-General. "These acts of intimidation
are intolerable and Somaliland authorities
must release the journalists immediately and unconditionally and end other
actions of bullying against journalists and news media houses"
For more information
contact the IFJ at + 221 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide