HRC’s Opinion On Escalating Censorship, Harassment, And Prosecution Of Jamal Ibrahim Mohamed


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“This increase in harassment and censorship of government critics such as journalists”

Authorities in Somaliland have increased their attack on dissenting
opinions, arbitrarily arresting, and prosecuting individuals perceived as
critical of government officials. Freedom of expression plays an important role
in democratic society to create a safe environment to hold to account
government officials and the government itself. The increase of arrests of
journalists creates a hostile environment to their profession, thus seeing
increased numbers of self-censorship within Somaliland.  This increase in harassment and censorship of
government critics such as journalists damages and takes away the values that
democratic processes are founded on and shows a lack of regard for the civil
and political rights of citizens in Somaliland, and in overall for the
protection of human rights.

 

As reported to the Human Rights Center, Jamal Ibrahim Mohamed was
arrested by Intelligence agents on February 6th, 2022. However, after being
questioned, he was released only to be re-arrested by the Criminal
Investigation Department on February 8th, 2022, infringing on his fundamental
rights as a citizen and human, as he was brought before court twice without
being charged.  He has not been charged
with a crime, although Intelligence Agents questioned him about a Facebook post
he made informing the public about the Minister of Transportation’s resignation
and the development of his own political party, Abdirisaaq Ibraahim Mohamed
(Ataash).  His arrest is contrary to the
codes of conduct used as guidelines by the arresting agencies and laws of the
country.

 

 

 

These arrests and subsequent unlawful criminal procedures make a total
mockery of Somaliland constitution which explicitly guarantees the right to
freedom of expression and proper civil rights procedures as stipulated by Article
24 subsection 3, Article 25, subsection 2, Article 26 subsection 2, Article 27
subsections 1,2,3,4,5 and 6, and Article 32 subsections 1 and 3.

 

The Human Rights Center condemns this arbitrary arrest and detainment of
Jamal Ibrahim Mohammed, which is a continued attack on free press and
infringement of fundamental rights and spaces. Human Rights Center urges the agencies involved to process his case
appropriately and release him if there are no charges against him.

 

 

 

Yasmin Omar Haji Mohamoud

The Chairperson of Human Rights Centre


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