Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2012

Beleaguered Somaliland Government seems intent on gagging the media

HARGEISA — Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) condemned the arrests of Royal TV reporter by the name of Mr Yusuf Ali Indho-Quruh by Somaliland security forces in Borama, the regional capital of Awdal. According to an emergency meeting that the executive members held last night in Hargeisa said that the apprehension of the reporter is yet another human rights violation intended to gag and silence Somaliland’s free press.

SOLJA condemned the manner in which the arrest took place and called for the immediate release of the journalist. SOLJA’s general secretary Mr Mohamed Rashiid Farah spoke to the press after the meeting came to an end and said that this growing arrest and continuing harassment as well as intimidations against
Somaliland journalists increased with alarming rate. He added that they are worried about the situation that many practicing journalists are faced with daily threats and intimidation for doing their legitimate work. He said that SOLJA demands the immediate release of the reporter and also disclosed that he was detained in the course of carrying out his duty. Mr Mohamed said there has been a marked deterioration in press freedom under the current administration, something that has been well documented both locally and by various human rights groups in London, Paris and New York. Mr Mohamed Rashid said that harassment has become almost routine. He gave the example of Somaliland security forces apprehending another reporter by the name of Mr Abdiqani Hasan Gadari who works for privately owned Universal TV.

According to reports received from Las Anod, Sool’s provincial capital the reporter was detained by police after thereporter was summoned by the Governor of Sool Mr Jeeniyare to his office and once he arrived, the Governor ordered his on duty body guards to put him behind bars and now is in custody at police station in Las Anod. Reports further add that the reporter was previously detained by Somaliland Information minister. The reporter managed to make contact with some reporters while in custody and said that he was arrested by the Governor who accusing him of daring to broadcast a story about Las Anod. He also said that he was tricked by the governor telling him to come to his office in order to talk to him about something and once he arrived, he was apprehended.

In recent months issues of corruption and misuse of public office and public funds have raised legitimate questions. The Government of Somaliland states it is in favour of a free press, but there is growing concern that officials in Somaliland are using the security forces and the Law to suppress a responsible press and if such moves continue there is a real danger that Somaliland will begin to echo the oppression seen in Eritrea and Ethiopia.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Displaying 12 Comments
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  1. Hargeisawi-In-London says:

    "Beleaguered Somaliland Government…."

    Give us a break!; Do you really think we are going to believe this whopper?

  2. Wadani says:

    Mr. M.T. Jones, our people are born to be outspoken and freedom of press is in our blood, hence no need of ignorant young who jump the wagon of press from nowhere claim they have been gagged. We don't such, but the real issue here is how they report and behave while someone sends them somewhere for reporting. I believe, the whole problem is how this young lad behaves when security talks to him or ask a question relating to his activities. Nothing more that.

  3. AhmedY says:

    I am true and true supporter of freedom of speech and press for that is the only way the public can find out what is going on in the society and I urge that the Government of Somaliland to stop harassing the Media.

    Having said that, I am not sure if I understand why the author of the article is using the word 'beleaguered'. Does he understanmd what it means?

  4. mohamed cheers says:

    By African standards, the Somaliland Govts. are not as bad when it comes to dealing with
    such weakly and frequently fabricated bogus reports by these journalists whose malicious
    newscasts cause serious consequencial damaging effects without justifications and when the
    Govts. reach out to bring about the necessary law enforcements, these news journalists cry out for help. Both the Govts. and journalists are responsible for their behaviors and should know each others
    tasks should work according to the :aw of the Country. Nobody is above the law.

  5. Jamal Adan says:

    I think it's completley unfair to comment harshly on this artic and acussing Mr Jones of being a child. I think he speaks the truth.

  6. abdi says:

    i'm strong supporter of freedom of press and expression, but otherwise strongly concerned the individuals who are spreading the hate and fundamentalism messages. Yes somallland government has rights to arrest and discipline those individuals.

  7. Axmad says:

    SomalilandPress need to stop harassing the S/land gov. If S/landPress have an issue with s/land gov then take it up with them. But don’t use your “news” website to spread propoganda otherwise you’ll lose what little readership you have left alongwith the advertising revenue that accrues with readers.

    • mohumed says:

      I think that the Press be it local, National or International level need to be given free atmosphere where they can serve for the public and they are humans that need to be respected and not intimidated or harassed.
      Let me tell you that the media proppelled the incumbent president to office and now his government which promised to respect the press is now supressing the reporters who are doing their daily day tasks.
      I think what you are saying is that the government keep gagging the media and news outlets do not voice their concern on this issue.

  8. Abdi2 says:

    I agree whole heartedly that there is a need to monitor the training of so called journalists. It seems that most people believe becoming journalists entails picking up a voice or video recorder and doing whatever one feels in the name of press freedom. It is not hidden in Somaliland there exists not only melicious reporting, but delibrate misinformation and poor tactics that can pose serious concerns for security and other challenges. Governments should reform laws concerning journalism, encourage opening of credible colleges and manage the registration of media and ban those that don't meet basic standards. Having said that, I belief local, regional and the central governments should stay away from the business of apprehending journalist without proper warrants. After the launching of many tv stations, it is time Somaliland media increase and establish forums for debating serious issues, so that people can watch the debates and decide for themselves instead of listening to sensentionalized news and spins . Why every thing must be about politcs. It seems that no one appears to be tackling pressing environmental, economical, educational and social issues. We as Somalilanders must be more vigilent besides doing more.

  9. Omer Hussein Dualeh says:

    Whichever Kayse you are:

    I agree with you this time. We should not polarize a simple incident and paint black our government for such reports. These young, unqualified press cor should refrain from such continuous blame which will damage the image of our country.

    The so called SOLJA are doing harm to us, and they don't understand.

  10. cabdiraxmaan says:

    Beleaguered Somaliland Government
    This deos show and refelect the current politicalm security, corruption and tribalism that is the somaliland under siiranyo,
    There are Dangers political land slides and shifts taking place under the feats of Somaliland.
    It seems the government can not even utilize or re-energise old alliance that was characteristic of both Egal and Reyale government, Tribal marginalization has caused wide spread disposition and millions of Somali Landers no longer feel to be stake holders but see government dominated by Siiranyo tribe.

  11. mohumed says:

    Do not delete my Comment

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