9 August 2012

Djibouti: Police Arrest News Website Reporter, Looking for Colleague

Reporters Without Borders has learned that Houssein Ahmed Farah, a reporter for the opposition news website La Voix de Djibouti, was arrested at around 11 a.m. today in the capital, Djibouti-Ville, and is being held in a cell at the main police station.

The media freedom organization has also been told that the police are looking for another La Voix de Djibouti reporter, Farah Abadid Hildid. La Voix de Djibouti is a former web radio operated by exiles based in Europe and is now a news website.

"The authorities have given no reason for arresting Farah and we urge them to free him at once." Reporters Without Borders said. "We are very concerned about his detention as he is diabetic and was observing the Ramadan fast. Given the current heat and tough detention conditions in Djibouti, this incident could have serious consequences for his health."

Farah is a member of the Djibouti Human Rights League and the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development, an opposition party led by his brother Daher Ahmed Farah. He has been arrested several times in the past, most notably in 2004 and 2011.

Outside Djibouti, Internet users can visit La Voix de Djibouti's website at the following address (www.lavoixdedjibouti.com). It is blocked inside the country but Internet users there can nonetheless have access to it by going to the Reporters Without Borders mirror site (www.lavoixdedjibouti.rsf.org).

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