Somaliland:Press Release by the Human Rights Working Group on Press freedom



The Human Rights Working Group, a group of international partners comprising the European Union, its Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the United States, wishes to express its concern over the forced closure of the newspapers Haatuf and Somaliland Times, and of the website of Haatuf media.

This is the third incident of the kind in recent months, after the forced closure of Hubaal media and the ban on Universal TV. In the course of 2013, 47 journalists were imprisoned, detained or otherwise harassed without a fair and transparent trial, and often without due process. In some cases, moreover, the journalists were physically abused.

While the release on bail of the chairman and editor-in-chief of Haatuf media on May 27th is a positive development, the case still threatens to reverse a recent trend towards improvement of relations between the media and the authorities, reflected in the establishment of a mixed commission for amending the Press Law in March.

The HRWG calls upon the Somaliland authorities to allow Haatuf media, as well as Hubaal media and Universal TV, to resume operations. It requests fair and transparent trials following a civil procedure for journalists accused of defamation, in accordance with the Somaliland Press Law and with international standards.

Acts of force ordered by courts upon the request of the Executive reflect negatively on Somaliland’s image. Freedom of expression and independent media are essential to the functioning of a democratic society, and Somaliland is no exception. (END)


The European Union and its Member States established a Human Rights Working Group on Somalia (HRWG) in December 2011, together with Norway, Switzerland and the United States. Respect for and promotion of human rights is at the foundation of the participating members of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), and an inherent part of their development policies.

Source: European Union


  1. Well oh my thank you for the interest to the esteemed guardians of European and American media and human rights royalty listed above. Perhaps if you were really interested you would’ve tried some objectivity and looked at the facts on the ground instead of gliding sky high on your superior high horses looking down on our misery?
    If you had bothered to look at the reality on the ground, you may have seen a slighly more earthier truth: a non-country constantly at an existential threat trying to establish democracy on a intellectually and institutionally barren earth scorched by poverty and illiteracy and UN and drug addiction and World institutional racism and genocidal neighbours and Islamist fanaticism. Seen from this perspective as we do, you might then have the genorisity of spirit to forgive us a little bit of edginess instead of challenging us on the exacting standards of Scandinavian liberal ferocity.
    Somali journalists are a threat to Somaliland’s stability not througfh intentional malice or some higher principles but through sheer ignorance. They do not deserve the ‘Jouranlism’ tag. Almost all outlets are owned by one clan or another and they serve the interests of that clan or what they think are the interests of that clan. They have no objectivity. They do not check stories..TBC…


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