Human Rights Centre (HRC) calls on the government of Somaliland to release jailed journalists of Abdirisak Dayib Ali and Mohamed Adan Dirir.
On 5th December 2017 Abdirisak Dayib Ali, a journalist with Haldoornews website was arrested in Gabiley. He was brought to court on 7th December. The court remanded him seven days into prison, according to court officials.
He is accused of taking an interview published in Gabliyenews.net in which a lady made allegations against the mayor of Gabiley, according to government officials who spoke to Human Rights Centre and Mohamoud Abdi Jama, the chairman of Somaliland Journalists Association.
Abdirisak told HRC that he did not take the interview and that he does not write anything on Gabilyenews.net website. According to Abdrisak, he designed the website and handed over its owner in 2015. Abdirisak is a journalist and a web designer.
He is still in Gabiley prison.
On 8th October, 2017 journalist Mohamed Adan Dirir was sentenced to one year and six months in jail by a judge at Hargeisa Regional Court. His lawyer and family were not present at the hearing. They were not informed, according to his lawyer, Mubarig Abdi. The judge pronounced the judgment on the same day. Dirir was arrested on 16th September, 2017 in Hargeisa. The prosecution accused him of defamation and publishing false news in relation to articles that allegedly accused Noradin School, a private school based in Hargeisa, of misconduct against its female students. The Appeal Court will hear Dirir’s appeal on 20th December 2017.
“We request the new president, Muse Behi Abdi, to release these journalists. Freedom of media is enshrined in the Constitution and the international human rights laws. It is the obligation of the government not to suppress the media,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre, Hargeisa Somaliland