26th September 2016 – Human Rights Centre (HRC) strongly condemns the arrest of Ahmed Mouse Sakaaro, journalist based in Buroa. Ahmed was arrested on 25th September 2016 at Buroa, east of Somaliland. The authorities accused Ahmed for inciting violence by urging the journalists “to defend themselves,” Togdheer Regional Police Commissioner told HRC.
Ahmed recently condemned statement made by the Minister of Presidency who threatened to liberate from the country what he called pirate journalists. In response to the Minister, Ahmed called the journalists to stay vigilant and on guard.
Six other journalists are currently facing criminal trials in Hargeisa Regional Court. Abdirashid Abdiwahaab Ibraahim, chairman of Foore newspaper, Mohamed Mohamoud Yousuf, editor-in-chief of Foore, Alimahdi Jibril Hassan, Bulsho TV, Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, chairman of Hubsad newspaper, Siciid Khadar Cabdilaahi, editor-in-chief of Hubsad newspaper, and Muuse Faarah Jaambiir, chairman of Ogaal newspaper are all prosecuted according to the Penal Code.
Somaliland constitution states that the media are independent and prohibits any action that suppresses media. The constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights uphold freedom of media.
“The recurring arrests of journalists are clear violation of Somaliland constitution and the international standards. The government narratives is alarming. Freedom of media is neither threat nor a gift. It is constitutionally guaranteed right,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
“We call on the authorities to immediately release Ahmed Mouse Sakaaro, and drop the criminal charges against the journalists,” he adds.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre
Hargeisa Somaliland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org