7 February 2007


Police arrest brother and cousin of opposition weekly's managing editor

Incident details

Houssein Ahmed Farah



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(RSF/IFEX) - After being sought by police for five days, Houssein Ahmed Farah was arrested on 7 February 2007 and taken to the criminal investigation department, Reporters Without Borders has learned from his brother, Daher Ahmed Farah, managing editor of the privately-owned weekly "Le Renouveau" and head of the Movement for Democratic Renewal (MRD), an opposition party.

One of his cousins, Daoud Farah Iyeh, was arrested on 6 February for unknown reasons, the same source said. As the police have seized its printing material, the newspaper can no longer be published.

"This is an operation aimed at silencing the only small newspaper that still resists," Daher Ahmed Farah told Reporters Without Borders. "With 'Le Renouveau' reduced to silence, the gagging of press freedom and free speech is complete, after 30 years of absolute rule, suppression of the opposition, poverty and social tension - all this under the eyes of western democracies such as France and the United States, which have a military presence in Djibouti."

The newspaper was formally accused of libel in an article published on 1 February about a businessman who reportedly paid an indemnity to the national bank governor, who happens to be President Ismaël Omar Guelleh's brother-in-law.


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