Hargeisa(SD) – The British government has said for the first time that Somaliland is facing a serious damage to its reputation by harassing news outlets and journalists.
The UK is worried of journalists detained by the Muse Bihi government, which the majority has yet to appear in court.
Mr. Stuart Brown, head of the UK government’s office in Hargeisa, speaking at on Freedom of the Press event in Hargeisa, has criticized Bihi’s government for its actions against the freedom of the press.
“Thirty-one journalist were arrested in 2019 but only five have been taken to court, what happened to the rest, and I am sorry to speak negatively, but Somaliland has a bad reputation for undermining freedom of expression “. said Stuart Brown.
He added: “Why were the other twenty-six journalists whose cases have not been brought to court arrested in the first place?, who is to blame for that, it’s easy to point it out ”.
“If I talk to our fellow diplomats, they talk to me about human rights, and they say that journalists are in a difficult situation in Somaliland, We also hear that Somaliland is at the forefront of freedom of expression in the region, so which one is it, how can we cope with that understanding? ” he added.
“I think the responsibility rests in many places, we know now that there is no proper legal framework, It is best that the Ministry of Information is now here with us to push this forward. “concluded Mr. Brown.
UK is the latest donor nation that has recently criticized President Bihi’s contempt for democratic norms in Somaliland.
The Somaliland government didn’t respond to the UK’s representative’s criticism.