Tom Rhodes, CPJ East Africa Consultant
Hubaal, Somaliland’s critical and much-beleaguered daily newspaper, is back on newsstands after a presidential pardon last week. The paper was shuttered on orders of the attorney general in June without explanation. In April, two gunmen, subsequently identified by authorities as police officers, raided the office of Hubaaland attacked its staff after a series of critical articles accusing the government of nepotism and misuse of office. Editor Hassan Hussein and Managing Director Mohamed Ahmed were both convicted on defamation charges last month and given prison terms. The two journalists were released on bail and are appealing their convictions.
Few publications have faced such an onslaught by authorities in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland. CPJ spoke to Hassan about his plight and future plans now that the newspaper’s suspension has been lifted. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.