26th September 2015- Human Rights Center strongly condemns the arrest of Mohamed Abdilahi Soo fadhiiste, editor-in-chief of Berbera Today website, and reporter for Somali Cable television. Mohamed was arrested on 24th September at Berbera after he aired report concerning public outcry against government ministers who participated in Eid festival at Berbera, sources at Berbera confirmed to HRC. The report covered shouting protesting against the ministers who in the Eid prayers talked about controversial proposed transfer of Petroleum Tanks in Berbera. The government suggested to privatize government owned Petroleum tanks in Berbera port.
Arrest of journalists is recurrent practice contrary to the constitution of Somaliland which guarantees freedom of press as stipulated in article 32 of the constitution.
On 20th September another journalist, Abdirahman Mohamed Egeh, was also arrested on the same subject in Berbera. He was released on 21st September.
Sultan Mowlid Ali Sabayste, traditional elder, was arrested on 17th September and is still in the Central Prison of Hargeisa. The Sultan was arrested after he criticized the government on issues related to the alleged transfer of Berbera Petroleum Tanks. He was arrested without court warrant.
“Journalists are very likely to be imprisoned whenever they talk about corruption or issue related to management of public property. We strongly condemn the detentions. We call on the government to refrain from oppression of the media,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of Human Rights Centre. “Mohamed shall be immediately released without condition. Moreover, Sultan Sabayste shall be released as well,” he adds.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre