1st November 2014- Two journalists were arrested in Gabiley, about 50 KM west of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. Mukhtar Nouh Ibrahim of Horn Cable TV was arrested on 30th October 2014 and Mohamed Hassan Sh Mohamoud of SOMSAT TV was arrested on 31st October. The journalists were arrested after they reported public protest against the ruling party. The protest was held by residents of Gabiley.
Human Rights Center (HRC) condemns the arrest of the journalists in the strongest possible terms. The authorities shall immediately release the two journalists.
Every citizen has the freedom to express his opinions orally, visually, artistically or in writing or in any other way as stipulated in article 32 of Somaliland constitution. Suppression of the media is prohibited by the constitution.
“The journalists were arrested while they were doing their own work. They have done nothing wrong”, says Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of Human Rights Centre. The action of the authorities violates the constitution and the international human rights instruments, adds Guleid.
It is the responsibility of the authorities to respect the constitution. Freedom of expression is one of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.
“This is not isolated case. Fours newspapers, Haatuf, Hubaal, Somaliland Times and The Independent, were already banned by the government of Somaliland”, says Guleid, HRC chairperson.
HRC is concerned the continual crack down of the independent media. HRC calls on the government to release the journalists and to lift the ban of the newspapers.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Human Rights Center
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