Thursday, July 1, 2010

Somaliland arrests Al-Jazeera channel correspondent

The authorities of the self declared breakaway republic Somaliland in northwest Somalia arrested an international reporter for Al-Jazeera English Channel Mohamed Addow on Monday, reports said on Wednesday.

Police wearing in civilian dress from Somaliland intelligence Service raided the hotel where Addow stayed and drove him into the jail without any question.

I was only told that I was arrested for a news coverage I made about Lasanod but I dont know what was wrong with story, and I am in this jail for two days. Addow told a local reporter for Waagacusub Media who secretly visited him in the prison.

The Al-Jazeer international correspondent has been in Somaliland for the coverage of the elections taking place over there. He is the second journalist put into custody in Hargeysa for the last 48 hours.

Some reports say that Ethiopian government involves the arrest of Mohamed Addow using Somaliland as a tool.

The arrest of Al-Jazeera's Mohamed Addow by the Somaliland government could draw local and international condemnations.

The chairman of Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ) Dahir Abdulle Alasow has strongly condemned the arrest of the Al-jazeera reporter by the Somaliland administration as acceptable and in violation against the free press.

Mr. Alasow also expressed his concern over the detention of Mohamed Rashid Omar, a local reporter for Sahafi newspaper. Omar was detained by the Somaliland police on Tuesday over a news article about an introductory result on the election votes.

The decision in which Mohamed Addow and Mohamed Rashid were arrested is a total oppression against the freedom of media and the democratic approach. Said Alasow.

He said Somaliland should not try to intimidate the independent media and called on them to immediately release the Al-Jazeera correspondent.

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