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Independent newspaper banned after publishing critical articles

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The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) vehemently condemns the “injudicious” decision from Somaliland court which banned an independent newspaper in Hargeisa from publishing, following an urgent motion filed by Somaliland Attorney General.

On Tuesday (afternoon), 19 June 2018, Marodijeh Regional Court in Hargeisa approved attorney general's motion requesting the ban of Waaberi newspaper, an independent newspaper which is critical to Somaliland authorities. This ex parte decision from the court was delivered to main companies that provide newspaper printing services and were instructed not to print Waaberi newspaper.

“I do not know why our newspaper was banned and we only received the court order without knowing charges against Waaberi newspaper”, said Khadar Gureyte, editor-in-chief of Waaberi newspaper. “We have long been denied the citizenry right to run an independent newspaper in violation of Somaliland press law”.

“Somaliland authorities are widening their attack on press freedom and freedom of expression by banning Waaberi newspaper following arbitrary arrests and harassment of journalists” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Somaliland continues to tighten its control of freedom of expression and press, through the successful use of judiciary and police”.

The ban comes after Somaliland President Muse Bihi pardoned Mohammed Keyse Mohamud, a blogger who was arrested for expressing his views about Somaliland politics in the Facebook, and journalist Mohamed Adan Dirir. Both were serving jail terms.

NUSOJ calls on Somaliland authorities to end this repressive campaign and heavihanded actions against journalists and media houses, and in particular to lift the unjustifiable ban on Waaberi newspaper.