Journalists arrested in Somalia

July 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, July 18 – Two journalists were arrested and a television station shut down in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland while several others were beaten in the self-declared state of Puntland, a media rights watchdog said Friday.

The two Somaliland journalists — Ahmed Saleban Dhuhul and Sayid Osman Mire — were arrested Monday after police raided a private radio station in the region’s capital Hargeisa, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

They were accused by Somaliland president Dahir Riyale of stirring up a tribal dispute in which four people died, while the region’s attorney general ordered a local TV station shut for airing the same dispute.

In Puntland, police atttacked and beat up several journalists covering the trial of pirates in the port city of Bossaso.

"While the international community’s attention is focused on the abduction of two French government advisers who were posing as journalists in Mogadishu, the real journalists continue to be arrested and attacked with complete impunity," the group said.

France has denied reports that the two security advisers kidnapped Tuesday in a Mogadishu hotel were posing as journalists.

Somalia is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Media houses have been routinely shut down by the authorities and many reporters, Somali and foreign, have been kidnapped by armed groups.


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