Detained Somaliland journalist in poor health: Wife
Detained Somaliland journalist in Poor health: Wife
A Somali journalist held in detention for asking the health minister a question about his work attendance problems that frustrated many including patients seeking medical attention abroad who subsequently missed important appointments with the minister is in poor health and has been refused visits from his family, according to his wife.
No charges have so far been brought against the journalist who was arrested on 27th May.
Known for defending the rights of civilians and critical reporting against corruption by officials in Somaliland, Mr. Dirir, 30 had several run-ins with local authorities who have subsequently arrested and released him after prosecutors failed to present evidence to back up his charges.
His arrest prompted criticism by media watchdogs in the region that have condemned the arrest, calling it ‘unjustifiable’.
Local media groups warned that the journalist’s arrest raised censorship specter in the enclave where journalists are routinely arrested by security forces.
He called for the immediate release of the journalist who is being held at the central prison in Hargeisa.
Harassment and intimidation against journalists have been a major concern for journalists based in Somaliland who have also seen waves of arrests and intimidation by local authorities in recent years.
Somaliland officials were not available for comment.
For years, there has been a tense relationship between the government and independent media. Government officials often accuse journalists of supporting and promoting anti-government sentiment, leading to the arrests of dozens of journalists in recent years.
Rights groups and media watchdogs have repeatedly urged Somaliland to ensure that independent media outlets are not harassed, and to allow journalists to practice their profession without fear of retaliation.