10 journalists detained in Somaliland capital, union says

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Ten journalists have been arrested and detained in Hargeisa, Somaliland, the self-declared independent region of Somalia, a press freedom lobby said on Thursday.

The reporters working for local independent media stations were covering an attempted prison break in Hargeisa, which was deemed as one of the most daring attempted escapes in the region.

A statement issued by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) said the group was arrested but no charge preferred against them.

“The ten journalists were arrested as they covered a standoff between inmates and guards at the Hargeisa Central Prison where a riot broke out after prisoners started hurling stones at the guards,” NUSOJ said in a statement.

“Reinforcements were called in and journalists from different media responded to the ensuing commotion that saw the guards open fire, to quell a protest by the inmates who were armed with stones,” union Secretary-General Omar Faruk Osman added.

The incident on Wednesday saw police also raid the independent Horn Cable TV headquarters in Hargeisa as part of efforts to prevent broadcasts on the events at the prison.