Today, 7th April 2014 about 16:00 local time, Somaliland Police with court warrant shut down the headquarters of the independent Haatuf newspaper and sister English paper, Somaliland Times. Human Rights Center strongly condemns the closure which is in violation of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the constitution of Somaliland. There is no court case informed to Haatuf to defend itself.
On 13th December 2013, in the same manner, the Police closed Hubaal newspaper which is so far on suspension without any suit initiated against it.
The suspension of the papers critical to the government is serious human rights problem that concerns Human Rights Center. The independent press is the backbone of democracy.
As stated in article 32 of the constitution, all the acts that suppress the media are prohibited. Article 28 of the constitution obliges the parties to have equal opportunity before the judiciary.
The judiciary shall be independent from the executive branch. The Center is very concerned the judicial acts that are silencing the press.
Haatuf has recently published stories related to oil explorations and how it is managed.
The acts against Haatuf and Hubaal are in violation of the freedom of the press and the rule of law.
Human Rights Center requests the government of Somaliland:
MS Mulaho Mohamed Ali
The spokesperson of Human Rights Center