The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the release of Journalist Omar Hassan Ali Known as Omar Serbia who has been arrested in Hargeisa, Somaliland since on Saturday 7, July 2017.
Omar was working with a Mogadishu-based radio and television station, Goobjoog and was arrested upon arrival at Egal International Airport in the capital, Hargeisa after travelling from Mogadishu.
“I confirm that I have now been freed from detention on bail and I am indeed quite sorry that I lost my freedom without justified case against me. I wasn’t fully explained the exact reason of my detention except that the authority was complaining about some unspecified scripts and talks which they said I had mentioned both the media I work for and my personal Facebook account” Omar Serbia told NUSOJ on the phone after minutes of his release.
It is good to hear that Omar Hassan Ali to be released from jial despite the National Union of Somali Journalists is deeply concern the repeated arrests against Journalists in Somaliland and we see these kind of arbitrary arrests as tactics to intimidate and undermine the freedom of expression and to silence the independent media, Secretary General of NUSOJ Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu said.
Harassment and intimidation against journalists have been a major concern for journalists in Somaliland in the past several years and the arrest of Omar Hassan Ali is another disturbing development, therefore we call upon Somaliland authority to respect fully the freedom of expression enshrined by its constitution
On 25, May 2017 Somaliland government released from jail a journalist Abdimailk Muse Oldon whom they arrested on 15 February ,2017after Presidential pardon.
Another journalist Ahmed Ali Kilwe is still arrested in Garowe since July 2,2017 after he was accused of posting in his Facebook account what Puntland authority called a defamatory remark against Puntland President.
We request from Puntland authority the immediate release of Mr Kilwe who illegally jailed in Garowe.