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Hargeisa court orders 13 journalists be remanded five more days

HARGEISA (SD) – Thirteen arrested journalists in Somaliland have been arraigned in Hargeisa for the first time since their arrest several days ago.

They are accused of reporting on riots at Hargeisa Central Prison, where inmates clashed with prison guards and other armed forces.

The Hargeisa court reportedly heard the unspecified allegations against the journalists, and in a bizarre move ordered that the journalists be remanded in custody for five more days, after which a decision would be made.

The detained include prominent journalists in Somaliland, such as Mohamed Ilig of MMTV and Hassan Galeyr of the BBC Somalia service in Hargeisa.

The court also ordered police officers to take some of the detained journalists to hospital, after they reportedly sustained injuries while in custody.

A meeting held last night by various sections of the independent media in Somaliland discusses the recent arrest of large number of journalists, After a lengthy discussion, a number of steps to take were proposed, including whether to continue working with the government of Muse Bihi Abdi.

Somaliland has come under intense criticism from journalists’ associations, Freedom of expression activist, lawyers and opposition parties in the country.

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