Nairobi, September 27, 2017--Somaliland authorities should immediately release Mohamed Adan Dirir, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police arrested the Somali journalist on September 16 on allegations of incitement and publishing false news, local journalist groups told CPJ.
Mohamed, the editor of online news portal Horseed News and owner of the news website Saylactoday was arrested while covering a press conference at the Ministry of Education in Hargeisa, the administrative capital of the semi-autonomous region, Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairman of the Human Rights Center, in Somaliland, and Yahye Mohamed, executive chair of Somaliland Journalists Association, told CPJ.
Guleid told CPJ that according to court documents Mohamed is accused of false news and instigating the public to disobey the law. Publishing false news carries a prison sentence of six months or a fine of up to 3 million Somaliland shillings (US$5,146), and instigating the public to disobey the law carries a sentence of up to five years, according to Somaliland's penal code.