Sabahi (Washington, DC)

16 December 2013

Somalia: Somaliland Police Close Hubaal Newspaper Offices, Arrest Two Journalists

Somaliland regional police shut down Hubaal News Network after raiding its headquarters in Hargeisa Friday (December 13th), arresting two journalists.

"Heavily armed [Rapid Reinforcement Unit] of Somaliland police raided our office and closed it, taking with them two journalists. We do not know where they have taken them," Hubaal newspaper chairman Mohamed Ahmed Jama told the BBC Somali Service, according to Somali Current.

Jama said the police raid was related to a recent protest staged by journalists over the release of a man suspected of attacking Hubaal offices in April. Four journalists were arrested during the protests on December 3rd.

Speaking to journalists, regional police commissioner General Abdullahi Fadal Iman said they closed the Hubaal newspaper office with a court warranty, accusing the news agency of publishing stories dividing police leadership and misleading security officers.

A Somaliland court banned Hubaal from publication in June, and then lifted the ban and issued pardons in August.

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