Human Rights Centre (HRC) today held press conference in Hargeisa. The Centre strongly condemned the closure of Hubaal, Haatuf and Somaliland Times, three independent newspapers based in Hargeisa Somaliland. It also denounced the detention of five journalists arrested in Las’anood the administrative capital of Sool region, east of Somaliland. The five journalists were detained yesterday, 20th April 2014 and released today, 21st April 2014.
Ms Mulaho Mohamed Ali, the spokesperson of HRC said “the manner which the Police followed to suspend the papers is against the law. The independent media is important pillar and shall not be oppressed. The freedom of press is guaranteed by the constitution of Somaliland and the international human rights.” The newspapers were not given the opportunity to defend themselves before the courts as required by the law, she added.
Mawlid Farah Mouse, a lawyer and member of HRC, stressed the illegality of the closure of the papers. Mawlid said that Hubaal was closed at 13th December 2013 while Haatuf and Somaliland Times were shut down at 7th April. The manner in which the three papers were suspended was the same. Police raided and closed without any court hearing. He raised serious concern on the actions of the government against the media.
The constitution upholds independent media that exercises freedoms without fear and subjugation, says Mawlid.
Ahmed Hussein Abdi, member of HRC, called upon the government of Somaliland to, immediately lift the suspension of Hubaal, Haatuf and Somaliland Times. He further demanded the judiciary to exercise the impartiality and the independence provided by the constitution.
Human Rights Center
Ms Mulaho Mohamed Ali
Phone: +252 (0) 63 4008357
Mawlid Farah Mouse
Phone: +252 (0) 63 4401990