“The charges against Maydaneh Abdallah Okieh are without foundation and amount to nothing less than harassment on the part of the Djibouti authorities against a stalwart of the first free and critical radio station in Djibouti’s history,” said Virginie Dangles the deputy programme director of RSF.
Mohamed Ibrahim Waiss was arrested while covering a protest staged by Mothers in Buldhuqo. The group was calling for the government to honour its promise to provide them with building plots in another neighbourhood.
Reporters Without Borders is appalled by government opponent and former journalist Daher Ahmed Farah’s incarceration on 2 July 2013 in Djibouti’s Gabode prison to begin serving a two-month jail sentence on a charge of “refusing to comply with a judicial order.”
A Djibouti court yesterday sentenced Maydaneh Abdallah Okieh to 45 days in prison and a fine of 200,000 Djibouti francs (860 euros) for posting photos on his Facebook page of police breaking up an opposition demonstration. It also ordered him to pay 2 million francs (8,600 euros) in damages.
Maydaneh Abdallah Okieh was detained for posting photos on his Facebook page that showed police breaking up an opposition protest. He has been charged with “insulting a police officer” and “defaming the police.”
Houssein Ahmed Farah was arrested on 8 August and has been held since 11 August in the capital’s Gabode prison despite his poor health and the lack of evidence for any of the charges against him.
In its submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, ARTICLE 19 outlines its concerns that, over the last four years, there has been an escalation in violations of the right to freedom of expression and information, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Djibouti.
Houssein Ahmed Farah was arrested at around 11 a.m. on 8 August in Djibouti-Ville by two police officers, Col. Abdoulkader Ibrahim Gona and Col. Abdillahi Hassan Boulaleh.
Mendez was urged to intervene on behalf of radio journalist Farah Abadid Hildid, who works for the Europe-based station La Voix de Djibouti.
Farah Abadid Hildid was previously detained and tortured twice in 2011, and in the first instance was held for more than four months on a charge of “participating in an insurrectional movement.”
Farah Abadid Hildid and Houssein Robleh Dabar were taken before an investigating judge at the Supreme Court, where they were charged with encouraging an illegal demonstration and insulting the president.
It is believed that Farah Abadib Hildid and Houssein Robleh Dabar were arrested to prevent them from reporting on an opposition leaflet calling for a “Day of Anger” protest.
The journalists are charged with “participating in an insurrectional movement”, which carries a maximum 15-year sentence.
The government has repeatedly prevented protest rallies since it violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration on 18 February 2011 and arrested scores of demonstrators and bystanders.