The Human Rights Center unequivocally calls for the release of the journalists, opposition leaders, and members currently detained in Mandheera following the protests on June 9th, 2022. En masse, journalists and opposition members were brought to court and remanded for further days in jail.
The Human Rights Center recognizes that actions such as these are in contradiction to the tradition of Somaliland’s culture, ethics, morals, and the rule of law of Somaliland. To gather opposing parties and journalists in this manner and judge them all for one issue lacks real depth, without a care for the rights of the individuals, and weakens democratic processes in Somaliland. These individuals have been detained and transferred to Mandheera prison without a warrant, without due process, and some without medical care and attention granted.
Human Rights Center can confirm that Hamze Geele of Saab TV and Muhaydin Adam Ismail have been detained and transferred for covering the protests for their prospective channels. In more distressing news, Hamze has fallen ill while in detention. Somaliland’s government and police force have become negligent in giving medical care to those detained recently. While we recognize the political situation is presently rife with tension, we would like to remind the Somaliland government, Hargeisa regional court, and the Criminal Investigation Department of the prior cases of journalists covering the news in Somaliland. Mohammed Ilig and Abdijabbar Mohammed were handed harsh sentencing without legal procedure in place.
The same actions are being repeated here, and we would be remiss by not bringing awareness of the situation to the public and President Muse Bihi. Officials running and governing should strive to follow the rule of law, and not transgress against the citizens they claim to protect and serve.
Therefore, we ask for due process to effectively be put in place while they are detained and released immediately as they have been arrested and detained without a court ordered warrant, violating their constitutional rights as citizens.
Yasmin Omar H. Mohamoud
Chairperson of the Human Rights Center