Somalilandsun- The ongoing situation in which journalists are afraid to undertake thoer duties is worrisome for the freedom of press and expression.
This was stated by Human Rights Centre in its quarterly repot released this August in which it wants the govrernment of Somaliland to imkidiately release detained journalists and return operatinglicenses to a number of proscribed media houses.
In its quarterly report the Human Rights Centre -HRC argues that nine journalists were arrested for their work in last four months, and seven journalists are currently facing criminal cases, a large number indeed.
According to the rights body New criminal cases were brought against five (5) journalists: Mohamed Omar Jaray, a reporter for Boramanews website, was tried and convicted by Awdal Regional Court, Abdirashid Abdiwahaab Ibraahim, chairman of Foore newspaper, Mohamed Mohamoud Yousuf, editor-in-chief of Foore, Ibrahim Osman Ahmed, editor-in-chief of Hangoolnews website, and Alimahdi Jibril Hassan, Bulsho TV, are all facing pending criminal trials at Hargeisa Regional Court.
Additionally, three journalists whose cases started prior April are still pending at Hargeisa Regional Court. These journalists are Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, chairman of Hubsad newspaper, Siciid Khadar Cabdilaahi, editor-in-chief of Hubsad newspaper, and Muuse Faarah Jaambiir, chairman of Ogaal newspaper.
To this effect the HRC makes the following Recommendations
To the Attorney General:
· Stop criminalization of the media and halt detention and trial of journalists;
· Allow opening of new media houses and transfers of media houses to new owners;
· Lift the ban from the suspended newspapers Hubsad, Codka Shacakba, Xog ogaal and Haatuf;
· Withdraw the criminal charges against all the journalists facing prosecutions in Somaliland;
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 advocate for the banned newspapers.
Download the full report in here.
Click to Read the full HRCquarterly report On media status in Somaliland
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre