Somaliland Court Orders the Arrest of a Journalist for Covering Human Rights Day

Hargeisa(ANN)The Editor-in-Chief of Waaheen, Mohamoud Abdi Jama, was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and detained on a court warrant issued by the Hargeisa regional court.  CID officials told the editor that the warrant was based on the

paper’s coverage of events organized by independent human rights activities commemorating the 2012 Human Rights Day.

At the event the Chairman of the independent human rights activist spoke about rampant corruption by the government of public funds and in particular that funds for the National TV are diverted by the Son-in-Law of the President.  Other speakers made similar corruption allegations.  CID officials told Mr. Jama that he must prove the allegations made by the speakers and that he will be brought in front of a judge on Saturday 15 December.

Transparency has recently included Somaliland as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Mr. Jama has been detained many times and served more than a month under a three-year sentence imposed on him in 2010 for covering an interview by the then police commissioner.  He was subsequently awarded the 2011 CNN Africa Freedom of the Press Award.  This will be the second time Somaliland courts find fault for reporting on what officials say at public events.

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