Somaliland Human Rights Centre condemns closure of TV and arrest of politicians

Somaliland Human Rights Centre has condemned the crackdown of media and opposition by authorities terming it a violation of the constitution.

The human rights body said in a statement Monday it was appalled by the closure of Horn Cable TV and arrest of its acting editor Abdikar Oman Oday.

“It is the first time in Somaliland’s history since the multiparty system was adopted such a high number of senior political leaders are jailed. The unprecedented actions of the government are very worrisome. Political parties have a right to protest. It is a constitutional right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” said Yasmin Omar Haji Mohamoud, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.

The rights body called on Somaliland government to respect the constitution and release journalist and politicians arrested.

Waddani Party Secretary General Khadar Abdi and spokesman Barkhad Jama were arrested Sunday after the party leader Abdirahman Irro called for protests.

Dozens of party supporters took to the streets in Hargeisa Monday engaging the police in running battles.

The police were forced to fire in the air to disperse the demonstrators. Irro urged his supporters to continue the protests.

The opposition party has been at loggerheads with President Muse Bihi following the nomination and approval of electoral commission commissioners some of whom Waddani said were the president’s cronies.