Article 32: Freedom of Public Demonstration, Express of Opinion, Press and other Media
1. Every citizen shall have a freedom, in accordance with the law, to express his opinions orally, visually, artistically or in writing or in any other ways.
2. No person may be arrested, searched, or detained, except when caught in flagrante delicto or on the issue of a reasoned arrested warrant by a competent judge.
Today is another black day for Somaliland free press. The Haatuf News was invaded by Somaliland police called Rapid Responses Unit (RRU). It is not the first time the Rapid Responses Unit invaded the compound of the free press properties. Last year Hubaal newspaper was invaded twice leading it to eventually close forever. I feel really sorry for them.
There is no justification whatsoever in the detention for destroying the property and closing the free press of our country. Every one of us has known what happened to Dictator Mohamed Siyaad Barre. Somaliland Press has full power to express its own views for the interest of the country as well as the taxpayers. It does not matter who committed unlawful act whether it comes from the president son-in-law, the minister or any normal Somaliland citizen
Somaliland has changed three different governments since the day of the withdrawal unity of Somalia. No one has acted the way this current government is acting. This government had arrested the journalists as well as destroyed the property of the press. It is not acceptable and those who committed this kind of brutality will one day be brought to justice. The accountability of this government will prevail.
The Riyal administration has arrested journalist but he never invaded and destroyed the property of the Somaliland citizens, conversely, when President Siilaanyo was opposition, he was accused the Riyaal government of abused the free press. Is he better than Riyal or worst than him? It is clear Siilaanyo has worst than Riyaal. Look what he has done to Hubaal, Star and today Haatuf. Not only these newspapers press, but Universal TV also was banned to operate inside in Somaliland. In general, Somaliland current government has a phobia of media that include newspapers, televisions and internet.
Media is one of the transparence pillars of democratic elected governments. The only authoritarian regimes have been sacred and are not able to challenge the media. Somaliland’s current government is looking for puppets media such as Somaliland National Television, and Dawan newspaper which have released only the government propaganda.
The Somaliland constitution has stated clearly the freedom of Press and Media in article 32. Every citizen has freedom to express his/ her opinion freely without fear or intimidation. Even though Siilaanyo government had committed crimes against its citizens – particularly the media sector – the advocate of taxpayers would prevail and Haatuf would not stooped telling the truth to its citizens.
Somaliland needs open minded politicians and a well educated bureaucracy. Somaliland does not need narrowed minded and corrupted persons those who called themselves politicians. Somaliland does not want those who overpowered and abused the government system and only know how to arrest, ill-treatment and demolish the private properties of citizens and the media such as Haaftuf.