We are deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation of press freedom in Somaliland, where three journalists have been detained in jail for their reporting on a public interest issue. As previously reported, Abdifatah Mohamoud Abdi, from Holhol media, was arrested in October of 2021 for allegedly reporting on the support of a candidate for Somalia.
He is once again currently held in detention in LasAnood Central Police Station for reporting on issues of public interests regarding the Governor of Sool region, Abdikarin Adan Haji Diriye on his facebook page, along with Khadar Farah Rikaah and Hamze Abdi Ahmed. Their arrests came after citing public complaints from LasAnod residents, appealing to President Muse Bihi to relieve the governor of his duties. These complaints as reported by media outlets speaks on community discord and mismanagement on behalf of the governor. In the matter of these complaints, HRC accounts that two youth members and a politician, Mukhtaar Hersi Waal, were also arrested for the broadcasting of these complaints. They were arrested on orders by the Governor.
The Human Rights Center urges regional authorities to immediately release the imprisoned journalists without condition. HRC would like to remind Somaliland government that arbitrary arrests and detentions are against the constitution of Somaliland, to respect and adhere to the supreme laws of the country, stopping all forms of a crackdown on press freedom and freedom of expression.
Yasmin Omar Haji Mohamoud
Chairperson, Human Rights Centre, Somaliland