Abdirashid, the chairman and a reporter for the independent newspaper Hubsad, and Said, a reporter for the paper, were arrested on November 30, 2015 on orders of the Somaliland Attorney General, according to reports.
Mustafe Mahdi, a lawyer for the two journalists, told CPJ the journalists, who also report for the independent BulshoTV station, were being detained at the Central Investigation Department in Hargeisa, Somaliland, and that they had not been charged. He said that police have said that the legality of the newspaper is under investigation, alleging that its transfer to new owners had not been registered.
BulshovTV managing director Ali Mohamed told CPJ that Hubsad had reported on allegations of local corruption, and that he believed these reports could be the reason for the arrests. He told CPJ that the journalists, who had reported for the paper under its previous ownership, were scheduled to appear in court in early December 2015.
The newspaper had been in operation under its new ownership for three days at the time of the arrests, according to news reports. Abdirashid and Said reported for it under the previous ownership. Somaliland has declared independence from Somalia but is not recognized internationally. Authorities in the semi-autonomous region have a record of harassing and detaining journalists and shutting down news outlets, CPJ research shows.