Human Rights Watch under reports 2019 abuses in Somaliland

The Human Rights Watch in its 2019 report on Somaliland highlighted abuses of human rights by the government.

The Organization’s limited report on one of the worst years for human Right and freedom of speech in Somaliland failed to capture the scope and the level of abuses of President Bihi’s disregard for the rule of law.

Read HRW’s limited report below:

The Somaliland government severely restricted reporting and free expression on issues deemed controversial or overly critical of the authorities. There was a significant number of arbitrary arrests of journalists and temporary closure of media outlets.

On February 10, the regional court in Hargeisa suspended the Foore newspaper for one year and fined the editor, Abdirashid Abdiwahab Ibrahim, 3 million Somaliland shillings (US$300). The newspaper was accused of spreading misinformation after it reported on the building of a new presidential palace in Hargeisa.

The ban on Foore was lifted in August. The government also arbitrarily arrested perceived government critics. On January 12, poet Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan (known as “Abdirahman Abees”) was arbitrarily arrested and charged with “insulting the police” after he highlighted various due process abuses in Somaliland. He was acquitted and released on February 25.

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