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Somalia28 November 2008

A journalist held in Somaliland freed after two weeks

Reporters Without Borders today notes the release, on 18 November 2008, of freelance journalist Hadis Mohammed Hadis, after being held for two weeks at the Criminal Investigation Department in Hargeisa, capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland in northern Somalia.

Hadis Mohammed Hadis has already been arrested on several occasions over the last two years. He told Reporters Without Borders that he was “worried” and concerned about how he will be able to do his job in the future. He however stressed that he had been “well-treated” by police while in custody.

He was arrested on 3 November while filming the arrival at Hargeisa airport of Suleiman Mohamed Adam, chairman of the House of Wise men, one of the two legislative chambers. The journalist said he thought his arrest could be linked to his coverage of a bombing in Hargeisa in October. The authorities have not provided any explanation for his detention.

13.11 - Somaliland authorities urged to explain why journalist held for past ten days

Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to explain the detention of freelance journalist Hadis Mohammed Hadis for the past ten days in Hargeisa, the capital of the northern breakaway region of Somaliland. Hadis was arrested while filming at Hargeisa airport on 3 November, five days after 25 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the city.

“It seems that Hadis has been detained on the basis of vague and insubstantial suspicions“, Reporters Without Borders said. “If no serious charge can be brought against him, he should be freed at once.”

Police arrested Hadis while he was at Hargeisa airport to cover the arrival of Suleiman Mohamed Adam, the president of one of the territory’s two legislative chambers. He was taken to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department and has been held there ever since. The authorities have not offered any explanation for his arrest.

Amin Jibril, a journalist with the privately-owned daily Haatuf, told Reporters Without Borders he managed to speak to Hadis at CID headquarters. He said Hadis thought his arrest could be linked to his coverage of the 29 October bombing. A legislator, Matan Hoori, had suggested Hadis must have known in advance it was going to happen. The police had not mistreated him, Hadis added.

Originally from southern Somalia, Hadis has lived in Somaliland for several years, working for various media including Haatuf and the independent daily Jamhuuriya.

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