Newspaper editor detained overnight for critical article

June 18, 200
Posted: June 20, 2006

Mohammed Abdi Urad, Jamhuuriya


Urad, an editor at the Somali-language daily Jamhuuriya in the self-declared northern republic of Somaliland, was arrested on the orders of the High Court after the paper published an article criticizing local lawmakers. Urad was held overnight in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, before being released without charge.

According to Jamhuuriya’s general manager, Mustafa Dhimbil, the arrest stemmed from an article written for the paper by a Somali based in the United States. The article criticized a recent decision taken by the upper house of Somaliland’s parliament – known as the “elders” – to extend their own mandate by four years instead of holding elections in September. The decision was very controversial within Somaliland, according to Dhimbil.

Jamhuuriya has come under fire for writing on sensitive topics in the past. In August 2004, police arrested another Jamhuuriya editor, Hassan Said Yusuf, after he published an article about the Somaliland government’s stance on the Somali peace talks in Kenya that year.

In addition to the daily Somali-language paper, Jamhuuriya also publishes a weekly English edition.