4th May 2016- Maxamed Cumar Jaray, a reporter for Boramanews website, has been in custody since the 13th of April 2016 in Borama. Maxamed was detained after he interviewed people singing the national anthem of Somalia. In a video clip published by the Borama News website, residents on the streets were asked by the journalist to sing the Somaliland or the Somalia national anthem as a part of a quiz program. The majority of the quizzed participants preferred to sing the Somalia national anthem instead of Somaliland’s national anthem.
The journalist has not been brought to court since the 15th of April contrary to article 47(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code which states that “an accused in custody shall be brought to court every seven days.”
Article 32 (3) of the Somaliland Constitution says “the press and other media are part of the fundamental freedoms of expression and are independent. All acts to subjugate them are prohibited…..”
Prior to his arrest in April, Maxamed Cumar Jaray had also been detained on 16th March 2016. He was released on 18th March without charges.
Human Rights Centre calls on the government of Somaliland to immediately release Maxamed Cumar Jaray.
Furthermore, there are two criminal cases pending at Hargeisa Regional Court in which three newspaper journalists are separately prosecuted. Muuse Jaambir of Ogaal newspaper is charged with “publishing false news, defaming the president, and shaming the first lady”. Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays and Siciid Khadar of the suspended Hubsad newspaper are charged with false-publication and running an unlicensed newspaper.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre