SOMALILAND: Police Close Office of Haatuf Newspaper

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By Saed Gabas

Hargeisa, (SM) -Police in Hargeisa on Monday raided the offices of the critical independent daily Haatuf Newspaper and ordered the publication to be shut down following orders from the regional court in Hargeisa.

Police descended on the headquarters of Haatuf Media Group as reporters working there fled onto nearby streets.

It is the second time in the history of Somaliland for a government in power to suspend a media house without notification or summon to court for briefing with regards to the reason of the suspension. Haatuf was not aware of any case against its pending before the Court.

The court order indicated that the newspaper has been proscribed for publishing false and malicious reports about senior government officials.

Monday's edition of Haatuf Somali language version newspaper

The editor of Somali language version of the paper Ahmed Ali Egge who spoke to the press after the police raid has said that an armed police units led by Hargeisa western area Commander Mohamed Mahmud arrived at the Hatuuf compound where staff were busy preparing tomorrow's edition.

Haatuf becomes the second newspaper to have its entire operations closed down after Hubaal newspaper was closed in December last year.

Recently, Haatuf has been publishing articles accusing Somaliland’s Minister of Energy Hussein Abdi Duale of wide spread corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

For instance, Monday’s edition (7th April) of the Haatuf Somali language edition had carried an article informing that the energy minister corruptly pocketed $20,000 contributed by the Government in Hargeisa from its central coffers towards the hosting of the government delegation that attended the historic motion in the United Kingdom that ensued with Sheffield city Council unanimous recognition of the Sovereignty of Somaliland.

Meanwhile, the opposition Justice and Welfare party chairman Eng. Faisal Ali Warabe has strongly condemned the closure of Haatuf Media Network.

Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) chairman also condemned the closure of Haatuf newspaper.












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