Somaliland Police Arrest Journalist, Seize Camera
HARGEISA, Somaliland (Somaliland Globe)- Somaliland police today arrested WARYA TV and Saraar News Online reporter, Ibrahim Abdirahman Qasim, and seized his camera and equipments following the deployment of police in the parliament which led to Saturday’s parliamentary session to be cancelled.
The reporter was arrested while taking pictures of the legislators when the parliamentary session was thrown into chaos. Police, acting under the direct orders of the president, began to force the Speaker of the lower house of parliament to allow six pro-presidential MPs who were suspended for 3 days from sessions to attend and participate in the day’s parliamentary session.
Another reporter, Abdillahi Hassan Budul, was also arrested. No immediate explanation was given for the arrests.
On 24 August, the parliamentary session degenerated into a bitter slanging match, with angry exchanges between government and opposition camps over impeachment proceedings against the president, which was included in the parliament’s agenda.
When the ruling UDUB party’s MPs failed to make any amendments to the agenda, the president’s loyalists went berserk.
The young reporter/photojournalist allegedly took pictures of legislators who are loyal to the president ripping off wires from computers and microphones, throwing stuff around and threateningly yelling and wagging fingers at fellow colleagues like “petulant children in a school yard”.
The pictures which have been making the rounds on the Web apparently disgraced the president’s loyalists.
Mr. Qasim who managed to make a call to a colleague at WARYA TV while in detention said his “equipments were seized”.
Daily attacks on media workers have become routine and commonplace under Rayale’s government. Journalists who seek out and report the truth do so in a climate of fear and intimidation.