Opposition, SOMA demand release of Horn Cable TV reporter

News Politics

Somaliland opposition is demanding the unconditional release of a journalist who was arrested while covering a party conference last week.

Somaliland police in Gabiley are said to have arbitrarily arrested Horn Cable TV reporter Farhan Abdi Isse (pictured) on 22 October, on the orders of Gabiley Mayor.

The journalist’s arrest came while he was covering a news conference by Waddani opposition party members, who called for the Somaliland government to recognize Gabiley as a region instead of a town. According to local human rights activists, two opposition party members were also detained on the same day. 

Local journalists said that Farhan Abdi Isse and the two opposition party members were transferred to the Gabiley prison on 24 October after the court issued additional seven days of remand, giving the police the power to hold them in custody.

Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) say they are alarmed by the ongoing crackdown by the government intended to silence free press in the country as attacks against journalists covering insecurity and those deemed critical to the government doubled in the past few weeks.

“Attacks against journalists across the country in the last couple of weeks is at alarming rate.  We condemn these latest arbitrary arrests and threats against press freedom in the strongest terms possible as we call for the government to free all detained journalists and refrain from further attacks,” SJS President Mohamed Ibrahim said.

 “Violations against the press freedom and freedom of expression constitute serious human rights violations. The government should provide the journalists with safe environment where they can report independently and without reprisals.”

Mohamed Osman Makaran, the Secretary-General of the Somali Media Association (SOMA) said “We were expecting the government to provide media professionals the protection they need. Sadly, we are witnessing on the contrary.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *