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Another Journalist Arrested In Hargeysa
Hargeysa, March 17, 2007 (SL. Times) - Abdul-Qani Ahmed Askar, a freelance journalist and a former TV departmental head of the state run SLNTV was arrested last Thursday by Hargeysa CID police department. He was taken in to custody late Thursday afternoon and was released on bail early Saturday morning without formally being charged for any crime.
Muhammed Hussen (Rambo), the editor of the Hargeysa based publication ‘Horn of Africa’ newspaper told Somaliland Times that he was allowed in to see Abdul-Qani Ahmed on Friday inside the CID headquarters. Rambo added that the freelance journalist, Abdul-Qani Ahmed said to him that he was arrested on the orders of the state prosecutor Saeed M Obosiiye (the chief prosecutor in the Haatuf trial), and up to now (Friday) does not know why he was arrested or for that matter, detained.
Abdul-Qani Ahmed a former employee of the state run SLNTV station but currently a freelance newspaper journalists wrote in last December in Haatuf and other Hargeysa publications, articles which profiled a prominent figure close to the president’s household by the name of Osman Sheikh Abdi, the same person in the Haatuf articles referred to as ‘so influential that a word from him [to the president] could be detrimental in deciding who should be nominated for or sacked from senior positions in the Somaliland government’. Abdul-Qani Ahmed Askar, in his articles related that his acquaintance with Osman Sheikh Abdi went back a long way, coming from the same village ‘Dila’ in Awdal region.
Source: Somaliland Times
Past news items relating to this story in Somaliland Times:
Mandera, Somaliland, March 10, 2007 (SL Times) – Somaliland Times editor Yusuf Abdi Gabobe along with three other Haatuf journalists, Ali Abdi Dini, Muhammad Omar Sheekh and Muhammad-Rashid M Farah were sentenced last Sunday by the Hargeysa Regional Court judge Faisal A Ismail to prison terms ranging from 2 to 2 ½ years. In addition
Hargeysa, Somaliland, March 10, 2007 (SL Times) – On a Friday evening BBC Somali section live debate broadcast, Somaliland Minister of Information, Ahmed H. Dahir, said that his government recognizes the press law as being the only valid law concerning the media
t is the denial of a fair trial to Yusuf Gabobe and his fellow accused that has made this mission necessary. It was believed that a direct assessment of the situation on spot as well as proactive cooperation with the civil society in Somaliland was necessary to actively reinforce local and international efforts to lobby the authorities for affording a fair trial
Mandera, Somaliland, March 3, 2007 (SL Times) – In a Kafkaesque turn of events, Haatuf journalists were finally brought to what was supposed to be a trial on March 1, 2007. The choice of the word “supposed” is deliberate because no trial actually took place.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 24, 2007 (SL Times) – The President of Somaliland Dahir Rayale Kahin in a meeting held last Wednesday in his office with the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) stated that his government was fully committed to observing the Press Law and he is willing to pardon the Haatuf journalists who are in Mandera prison, if they are found guilty by the court handling their case.
New York, February 14, 2007 – The National Union of Somali Journalists is deeply concerned the situation of detained Haatuf journalists following the resignation of a member of the two lawyers of the imprisoned media people, who are behind the bars in the 6 th week. The three personnel of the Haatuf Media Network, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe (Managing Editor), Ali Abdi Dini (Editor in chief) and Mohammed Omar (Borama reporter) were transferred to Mandhera detention centre, near port town of Barbara. Another Haatuf journalist is also charged in absentia.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 17, 2007 (SL Times) - The Somaliland Supreme Court issued a court injunction last Wednesday against the Hargeysa Regional Court from continuing Haatuf journalist's trial proceedings until the Supreme Court reaches a verdict on the appeal submitted by the defense lawyers of the Haatuf journalists.
Paris, February 7, 2007 – Reporters Without Borders today reiterated its appeal to the authorities in the northern breakaway state of Somaliland to release three newspaper journalists who have been held for several weeks and have just been moved from the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa to a provincial prison.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 3, 2007 (SL Times) – SNM veterans called on the government to release the detained Haatuf journalists on Thursday.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, February 3, 2007 (SL Times) – Two ex-combatants who fought for the Somali National Movement's liberation struggle against Somalia's late dictator Siyad Barre in the 1980s, were arrested in Hargeysa by the Somaliland police.
London, February 2, 2007 – Three journalists employed by Somaliland's independent Haatuf Media Network have been arrested and charged as a result of their work. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience, detained solely for exercising their right to peaceful freedom of expression.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 27, 2007 (SL Times) – Prominent traditional leaders of the Sa’ad Musse clan have condemned what they call attempts by Somaliland president Rayale to involve the clan system in the case of detained Haatuf newspaper journalists.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, 27 January 2007 (SL Times) - Haatuf Newspaper’s series of articles alleging corruption by President Dahir Rayale and his wife Huda Barkhad were published in 17 different editions starting from November 24, 2006. The last piece appeared on January 2, 2007, and in the same day Haatuf publisher Yusuf A. Gabobe and editor Ali Abdi Dini were arrested in connection with these articles.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 27, 2007 (SL Times) – Lawyers defending Haatuf journalists who have been held in detention since early this month by Somaliland’s CID said, the Chief of CID Suleiman Muse Hassan has denied visitation to their clients.
The raid of Haatuf newspaper premises
The Republic of Somaliland has a free and thriving press, but this is often marred by the occasional detention of journalists 1 on the orders of the government or its regional representatives.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 20, 2007 (SL Times) – The Somaliland’s House of the Representative’s select committee on Judicial affairs on Thursday held a hearing in which the chairman of the Supreme Court, Mohamed Hirsi Omane was questioned with regard to a Hargeysa Regional Court ruling that allowed 3 detained Journalists from the Haatuf Newspaper to be prosecuted under the penal code of Somalia instead of the country’s press law
Paris, 18 January 2007
Dear Mr. President,
Justice has played very little role in what has happened with the newspaper Haatuf. Ever since the arrest of Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ali Abdi Dini, the entire case has been marked by unfairness, procedural irregularities, personal revenge and the denial of democratic principles.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 20, 2007 (SL Times) – A group of journalists led by the Secretary General of Somaliland's Society for Independent Journalists and Writers visited five youth who were sentenced to six months imprisonment by the regional Hargeysa Security Committee last week for taking part in the Hargeysa demonstration, which happened on Jan. 8, 2007.
The New York based CPJ
New York, January 18, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the ruling by a court in the northern breakaway republic of Somaliland on Wednesday to try three jailed journalists under archaic criminal laws in connection with a story critical of the president.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 13, 2007 (SL Times) – Haatuf Media Network (HMN) chairman/editor of Somaliland Times Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and the editor of the Somali language Haatuf newspaper, Ali Abdi Dini appeared for their first Hargeysa Regional Court hearing last Thursday.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, January 13, 2007 (SL Times) – Mr. Kayse Ahmed Osman, a close friend of the detained Haatuf Media network journalists, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and Ali Abdi Dini was arrested while visiting the detained journalists inside the CID Hargeysa compound on Friday, 12/01/07.
Hargeysa, Somaliland. Jan 6, 2007, (SL Times) – Forty heavily armed police and C.I.D officers stormed the offices of Haatuf Media Network (HMN) on Tuesday afternoon and arrested the chairman of HMN, Mr Yusuf Abdi Gabobe who is also the editor of Somaliland Times and the editor of the Somali language Haatuf daily newspaper, Mr Ali Abdi Dini and the chief accountant for HMN, Mr. Hussein Khalif Abdullahi who sustained minor injuries while being arrested. Mr. Hussien Khalif was released 3 hours later.
New York, January 3, 2007-Police in the northern self-declared republic of Somaliland stormed the offices of the Somali-language daily Haatuf late Tuesday and seized two journalists over an article alleging corruption by the president’s wife, according to local media reports and local journalists. Managing editor Yusuf Abdi Gabobe and editor Ali Abdi Dini have been held for questioning at the offices of the Criminal Investigation Department in Hargeysa
Paris January 4, 2007, -Reporters Without Borders has condemned the arrests of journalists in recent days in the northern breakaway state of Somaliland.