The Human Rights Centre condemns the arbitrary detention of Bushaaro Ali Mohammed (Baanday), a freelancer who has worked for many media houses in Somaliland. Bushaaro was arrested on May 15, 2023 and remanded on May 17, 2023. As a result of her capture, she sustained considerable wounds to her forehead and knee. During her court appearance for the remand period, the allegations against her are related to covering the conflict in LasAnod and seditious act against Somaliland government. At the current moment, it is difficult to access visitation rights to Bushaaro and is currently held in a dark room at the Hargeisa Central Prison, violating her constitutional and human rights. Bushaaro is one of nine journalists in Somaliland who are a part of court ordered injunction, to prevent them from accessing social media to cover the LasAnod conflict and what Somaliland government believes is incitement of violence and spreading fake news.
The human Rights Center believes this is against human rights standards as well as against the constitution of Somaliland. Somaliland constitution requires an individual to be charged within 48 hours of arrest as stipulated by Article 27( 2). This is an attempt to prolong her detention and trial while authorities look for a charge to stick.
The Human Rights Centre urges for her immediate release and demands an investigation on the condition of Bushaaro’s wellbeing and arbitrary arrest and in order to assure fair judicial process exists is to guarantee respect for periods of detention as prescribed by Somaliland constitution Article 27 subsection 2 and set by international human rights standards, as well as respecting and the adherence of the supreme laws governing the country, including the independence of the media as stated by Article 32(3).
Yasmin Omar H. Mohamoud
Chairperson of the Human Rights CenterHargeisa,