On the second anniversary of the closure of Haatuf newspaper in 7th April 2014, Human Rights Centre today (7th April 2016) releases quarterly report detailing documented incidents that has taken place from 10th December 2015 to 1st April 2016 to provide information regarding the situation of journalists in Somaliland.
Within this reporting period eleven (11) journalists were arrested for their work. Two criminal cases were brought against journalists: Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, chairman of Hubsad newspaper and Siciid Khadar Cabdilaahi, editor-in-chief of Hubsad newspaper, are facing criminal charges pending at Hargeisa Regional Court while Ahmed Mouse Sakaaro, a journalist based in Buroa, east of Somaliland, was charged in Buroa. Three newspapers, Hubsad, Codka Shacabka and Xog Ogaal were suspended.
Calimahdi Jibriil Xasan, Bulsho TV, and Cabdiweli Yuusuf Cumar, Bulsho TV, were attacked by assailants in Hargeisa on 20th March 2016. Cabdifataax Ismaaciil Caarshe, freelance journalist, detained on 26th March and released on 28th March sustained injuries after he was beaten up.
The Penal Code continues to be applied on journalist engaged in their work and the Press Law is overlooked and ignored to be implemented. This report gives details of each case, and overview legal analysis of the rules and laws applying to media in Somaliland.
To the government of Somaliland:
- Stop criminalization of the media and halt detention and trial of journalists;
- Allow opening of new media houses and transfer of media houses to new owners;
- Lift the suspension from the suspended newspapers Hubsad, Codka Shacakba, Xog ogaal and Haatuf;
- Withdraw the criminal charges against Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, Siciid Khadar and Ahmed Mouse Sakaaro.
To the judiciary:
- Stop applying the Penal Code against journalist and apply the Press Law and Somaliland constitution;
To the civil society organizations:
- Support Somaliland journalists and media houses in tackling arrests and criminal prosecutions ;
- Support decriminalization of media and raise closure and suspension of Haatuf Hubsad newspapers with Somaliland government
Mulaho Mohamed Ali, spokesperson of Human Rights Centre