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Somaliland: International and local rights groups condemn detention of Journalists

NEW YORK (SD) – The US based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), based in the United States, said it was “disappointed” by the sentencing of journalists Mohamed Abdi Ilig and Abdijabar Mohamed Hussein.

CPJ’s Committee to Protect Journalists added that it was not a crime to to cover breaking new event.

“Mohamed Abdi Ilig and Abdijabar Mohamed Hussein should never have been arrested for simply covering a breaking news story in real time, and we are deeply disappointed by the convictions and harsh sentences handed down to them,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “Appealing these spurious convictions through Somaliland’s flawed justice system would be unjust, lengthy, and uncertain. Time is of the essence for these two innocent journalists, one of whom is seriously ill. Authorities must not further undermine Somaliland’s already precarious press freedom environment and should ensure the release of the journalists immediately, without condition.” CPJ said in an statement.

Head of the British Office Hargeisa, Lizzie Walker, also stated that journalism is not a crime and suggested that the Press Law should protect the freedom of the press and the press.

International and local journalists’ rights groups have condemned the imprisonment of the two journalists by the Marodi Jeh Regional Court for one year and four months.

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