Hargeisa – 10th February 2019 – the Human Rights Centre condemns today the suspension of Foore newspaper, a privately-owned newspaper published in Hargeisa.
A regional court in Hargeisa suspended Foore newspaper one year and fined three million Somaliland shillings in fine, to Abdirashid Abdiwahaab Ibraahim, the editor of Foore newspaper.
The suspension of Foore newspaper and the fine to Abdirashid followed after Foore published news about building a new presidential place in the west of Hargeisa. The government claims that Foore spread misinformation.
Article 32 (3) of the Somaliland constitution states that “the press and other media are part of the fundamental freedoms of expression and are independent. All acts to subjugate them are prohibited…”
Human Rights Centre condemns that and calls on the government to lift the ban of the newspaper.
In another case, the Poet, Abdirahmaan Abees is still in custody. Abees faced illegal detention for nearly one month.
Indefinite detention violates the essence of the Somaliland Constitution and the rule of law. The Constitution of Somaliland guarantees freedom of expression.
According to article 32(1) of Somaliland Constitution, every person has the freedom “to express his opinions orally, visually, artistically or in writing or in any other way.”
Being detained without a legitimate reason is the intimidation trick used by the government to limit the freedom of thought as it wishes, which is absolutely unconstitutional.
Human Rights Centre is very concerned about the suspension of Foore newspaper and illegal detention of the poet and calls on the government to release poet Abdirahman Abees and overturn the suspension sentence against Foore.
Yasmin Omar Mahamoud
Chairperson of the Human Rights Centre