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Somalia: Somaliland Issues Two New Charges Against Banned Newspaper Hubaal.

Sabahi 21 June 2013.

The attorney general's office in Hargeisa has issued two new charges against the banned Hubaal newspaper, accusing two employees of defamation.

The Hargeisa Regional Court will Sunday (June 23rd) hear the new charges against Hubaal manager Mohamed Ahmed Jama Aloley and editor Hassan Hussein Kefkef, Aloley told Sabahi.

"We have been accused of a false defamation attack against employees of the Ethiopian embassy in Hargeisa, of defaming Somaliland national officials, and that the paper is causing trouble among Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia and Somaliland," Aloley said.

He said the accusation of defamation against the Ethiopian consulate is connected to an article the paper published in January, while the second accusation is related to news it published in June about a crisis in the River Nile.

"The attorney general's office used two different articles in making the charges -- the General Penal Code and articles from the Somaliland Press Law -- and that is illegal," he added.

The regional Court of Appeals had also been scheduled Thursday to hear an appeal against a June 11th court order that banned the newspaper's publication and distribution, but the hearing has been pushed back to Saturday.

Two armed men, including a police officer, attacked Hubaal's Hargeisa headquarters on April 24th in an attempt to kill Aloley, but he escaped with only a broken arm. One of the gunmen was captured during the melee.

"So far in the case of the attack carried out against us, neither the perpetrators nor those who planned it have been brought to court," said Aloley.


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