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The Human Rights Center calls for the release of imprisoned journalists and politicians in Somaliland

HARGEISA (SD) – Somaliland Human Rights Center denounced and calls for the release of illegally imprisoned Journalists and Politicians in Mandheera.

“The Human Rights Center unequivocally calls for the release of the journalists, opposition leaders, and members currently detained in Mandheera following the protests on June 9th, 2022. En masse, journalists and opposition members were brought to court and remanded for further days in jail. ” said the center in a released statement.

Adding ” The Human Rights Center recognizes that actions such as these are in contradiction to the tradition of Somaliland’s culture, ethics, morals, and the rule of law of Somaliland. To gather opposing parties and journalists in this manner and judge them all for one issue lacks real depth, without a care for the rights of the individuals, and weakens democratic processes in Somaliland. These individuals have been detained and transferred to Mandheera prison without a warrant, without due process, and some without medical care and attention granted.”

The jailed politicians belong to the opposition parties WADDANI and UCID, during a prodemocracy rally demanding the November 13, 2022 presidential election be held on time.

The Journalists have been arrested at various times in the course of their work.

“Human Rights Center can confirm that Hamze Geele of Saab TV and Muhaydin Adam Ismail have been detained and transferred for covering the protests for their prospective channels. In more distressing news, Hamze has fallen ill while in detention. Somaliland’s government and police force have become negligent in giving medical care to those detained recently. While we recognize the political situation is presently rife with tension, we would like to remind the
Somaliland government, Hargeisa regional court, and the Criminal Investigation Department of the prior cases of journalists covering the news in Somaliland. Mohammed Ilig and Abdijabbar Mohammed were handed harsh sentencing without legal procedure in place” said the center.

The denouncement and call from the independent human rights center comes at a time when party leaders have recently visited prisoners.

“When you talk to imprisoned politicians and journalists, you will be traumatized ,” said UCID Chairman Faisal Ali.

Various sections of the community have also appealed to President Bihi’s government to release jailed officials and journalists.

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