Somaliland: Free detained journalists, stop attacks on media freedom
|Publication Date||18 January 2012|
|Cite as||Article 19, Somaliland: Free detained journalists, stop attacks on media freedom, 18 January 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f267ba62.html [accessed 26 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
ARTICLE 19 is concerned about the ongoing media freedom crackdown and wave of journalist arrests in recent weeks in Somaliland. Following the arrest and detention without charge of twenty five journalists, twenty four have subsequently been released, but ARTICLE 19 remains concerned for the welfare of the remaining journalist being held.
The sweep of arrests followed a protest by the journalists after the Somaliland police raided the offices of the privately owned Horn Cable TV forcing all the media workers and journalists to leave on 14 January and suspending the TV station from broadcasting.
"While we welcome the release of the majority of journalists, we note that these arrests and detention are unlawful and an outright violation of their freedom of expression and media freedoms. We call on the Somaliland authorities to respect fundamental human rights and hold all those responsible for intimidating journalists accountable," said Henry Maina, ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa Director.
Ali Aareye Waheen is the journalist still in custody after he was arrested on 12 January 2012 for allegedly taking photographs of a petrol station owned by Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail, the vice president of the breakaway autonomous region of Somaliland. Borama was scheduled to appear in court on 14 and 15 January but the hearing was delayed until 17 January. Ali was not produced in court yesterday.
ARTICLE 19 strongly calls for the unconditional release of journalists still in custody and the immediate lifting of the ban on Horn Cable TV. We also urge Somaliland authorities to exercise restraint and allow critical journalists and dissenting citizens to exercise their right to press freedom and freedom to association without undue restrictions.