The Human Rights Journalists HRJ welcomes the release of a young Somali poet by the Somaliland authority. Naima Qorane was released from Gabiley Prison today after the Somaliland president Muse Bihi granted her presidential pardon.
Naima was arrested at Hargeisa Airport on January 27, 2018 upon her return from Mogadishu and she was remanded into custody until April 15, 2018 when a provincial court in Hargeisa city of the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced her three years imprisonment for publicly proclaiming that she regarded Somaliland as part of the Republic of Somalia. Somaliland authorities found her statements as insulting and defamatory against the state.
Somaliland attorney general told local media that the pardon came after Naima’s family sent a letter to the Somaliland President applying for amnesty.
A court in Somaliland sentenced Mohamed Kayse to 18 months in jail for a Facebook post in which he described the president Somaliland as “a local president. Similarly, on April 26, Hargeisa court sentenced five years imprisonment to a clan chief Boqor Osman Buur Madow for speeches considered as defying Somaliland indepence. Both Mohamed and Boqor Osman remain in custody.
On October 8 2017, Hargeisa court sentenced a local online journalist Mohamed Adan Dirir to eighteen months in jail. Mohamed was accused of defamation and publishing false news following articles he published.
HRJ expresses concern over the constant press freedom and freedom of expression violations by the Somaliland regime which proclaims as a state that endorses democratic values. HRJ appeals to the self-declared republic of Somaliland to respect its constitution and international laws and to immediate release of all those arrested for merely expressing their opinions or exercising their journalistic work.