By: Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Both Houses of Parliament – The House of Elders and the House of Representatives passed The national Intelligence Law (NIA) of the Country.
It is right, and no one can deny that every country should have law that govern its constitution; but one should always keep in mind that it is imperative that these laws should contradict, the principles enshrined in its constitution.
The NIA is against Articles 25 and 32 of Somaliland National Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and Media. It also contradicts Somaliland Press Law No. 27/2004, which are the main pillars of the constitution.
More than one hundred thousand people lost their lives and what they cherished, in the struggle for their basic rights, including the freedom of their country-Somaliland- and freedom of expression, they have been enjoying since they reclaimed their independence.
It would have been surprising if someone who was not aware of the atrocities and aggression suffered by the people came to power.
Fortunately, the incumbent president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo have been a witness against all these oppressions and genocide against the people of Somaliland and has also been at the helm in the struggle for these basic freedoms.
Somaliland, as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, respects the freedom of media and expression; but the newly passed law for NIA is in conflict with these rights.
The President is fully aware of the role of independent media in Somaliland in the preservation of peace, stability and the democratization process which he has witnessed during his campaign for the president, or when the ruling party was in the opposition.
SOLJA, calls on the president not to sign this law which is against every principle he fought for, and which would imposesuppression of freedom of expression and impose censorship on the media.
Somaliland’s Journalist association sent a committee to the president of Somaliland to discuss with the issue last week, but they
met the Minister of the Presidential Ministry; who promised that the president will no sign the law
before he meets the committee
Finally Mr. President, we remind you that this law jeopardizes the freedom and human dignity you struggled for and we hope that you amend it and send back to the parliament.
This open letter has been signed by the Somaliland Journalist
association, and the editors of the Somaliland independent newspapers.televisions
Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah
Secretary general of solja