18th July 2016- Somaliland Attorney General charges Ibrahim Osman Ahmed, editor-in-chief of Hangoolnews website. Ibrahim is accused of “publication of false news, false-accusation and defamation”. On 17th July 2016 Hargeisa Regional Court held the first hearing of the criminal case.
According to the charge sheet, the editor is charged for published stories written about the Manager of Egal International Airport (Hargeisa) and the Director General of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The articles published by the website criticized the service delivery of the Airport and accused the manager of the Airport on facilitating tax evasion, according to the charge sheet.
Six other journalists are now facing criminal trials in Somaliland. Muuse Faarah Jaambiir, chairman of Ogaal newspaper, Abdirashid Abdiwahaab Ibraahim, chairman of Foore newspaper, and Mohamed Mahamoud Yousuf , editor-in-chief of Foore, Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, chairman of Hubsad newspaper, Siciid Khadar Cabdilaahi, editor-in-chief of Hubsad, and Calimahdi Jibril Hasan, Bulsho TV, are facing criminal charges in Hargeisa Regional Court.
“Criminalization of media is unacceptable and unconstitutional. It is repressive way to silence media,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of Human Rights Centre. “The government shall respect its constitution”, he adds.
Human Rights Centre calls on the Attorney General to drop the criminal charges against all journalists.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre
Phone: +252 (0)63 4468227