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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 06 Detained critics must be released
UA 090/19
Somaliland (Somalia)
Abgeschlossen am 8. August 2019

Detained critics must be released

AI-Index: AFR 52/0615/2019

Between 17 April and 1 May, Somaliland authorities arbitrarily arrested and detained journalist Abdimalik Muse Oldon, opposition youth leader Mohamed Sidiiq Dhame, and Jamal Abdi Muhumed, an employee of the Ministry of the Interior. The three were arbitrarily arrested for posting on social media comments perceived as critical of the Somaliland government and public officials.


There has been an increase in harassment and intimidation of government critics and clampdowns on peaceful dissent in Somaliland since the current government took office in December 2017. The authorities have targeted poets and journalists, as well as anyone perceived to be in disagreement with key state policies, or critical of public officials.

Somaliland’s 2001 Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press but the 1964 penal code includes a number of vaguely defined and , very broad criminal offences, including «offending the honour and prestige of the head of state, insulting a public officer or institution, or contempt against the nation, state or flag», which are punishable by up to three years' imprisonment.

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