Somaliland: Human Rights Center Advocates Expeditious Determination of Haatuf’s Case on Basis of Act No: 27/2004


Somaliland  Human Rights Center

By: Osman A.M.

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A Hargeisa based Human Right Group has called for an expeditious determination on the case facing the management of Haatuf Media Group in urging the state to adjudicate the matter by enforcing penalties provided under the Press Act No. 27/2004.

This was an ingredient contained in a press released dispatched to media houses by Human Rights Center that listed the available avenues in just & expeditious determination of the suit facing the media group following the summoning of the proprietor as well as the editor of Haatuf, a local daily by Hargeisa regional courts in an effort to notify them to appear before the regional judicial officials in answering the charges facing them jointly.

“The regional court at Hargeisa has summoned Yusuf Abdi Gaboobe, the proprietor of Haatuf Media Group together with the editor of Haatuf a daily Somali language paper to appear before the court & answer the allegations against them that ultimately impelled proscribing the media outlet on the 7th April 2014” partly stated the Human Rights lobby’s press statement.

The statement dated 30th April was officially signed by Ms Mulaho Mohamed Ali, the group’s spokesperson who differed with the courts on its reliance of Penal Code that was enacted in 1962 instead of adjudicating the charges on applicable statute governing the ethics & conducts of the media profession as enshrined in Law No: 27/2004.

Mulaho relies on the provisions of Article 130(5) of the Constitution that rules out the applicability of derogatory legislations that negate the effective & practicable enforcement of fundamental rights & freedom including press freedom. To this end, she reasoned that Penal Code derogates aspects of Human Rights and therefore advised courts to apply the Act No: 27/2004 in arriving at just & fair decision.

She further noted that the said Act No: 27/2004 provides mechanisms of enforcing infringement of press freedom as enshrined in the provisions of Article 32(3) that prohibit actions amounting to intimidation of press rights.

The group’s spokesperson categorized Act No: 27/2004 as general legislative instrument thus placing it at par with Penal Code.

In lights of the issues emanating above, the Human Rights Center was of the view that judicial authorities;

1. To determine expeditiously the case facing the management of the media group,

2. To lift the ban against the media house immediately without attaching conditions.