Press Release: Somaliland Community, Washington DC, Jan 6, 2007

Immediate Release

The Somaliland Community in Metro-Washington DC expresses outrage and condemns the actions of the government of Somaliland for arresting Mr. Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, the Managing editor of the daily newspaper Haatuf in Hargeisa and Mr. Ali Abdi Dini, the Editor of the same newspaper and Mr. Hussein Kh. Abdillahi, staff at Haatuf newspaper for publishing articles that accused Rayale’s family corruption and misappropriations of the public property. The Media has a responsibility and duty to report on the actions of the government, and we commend Haatuf Newspaper for its courage and efforts to inform the public about the actions of the government.

Mr. Gabobe, Mr. Dini, and Mr. Abdillahi have been in Jail for more than two days, and they are still behind bars for performing their constitutional duties. They deserve our support and we demand their immediate release without conditions.

These actions of the government are gross violations of the constitution and it damages the good reputation of the Somaliland in the international community. These actions also make it difficult for Somaliland Diaspora to campaign for recognition and educate international community about the democratic progress that Somaliland has achieved.

We call on the members of the Parliament, particularly the members elected from Hargeisa, to act and intervene on behalf of these citizens whose rights were denied by asking government to release and give their freedom back. We also call on the Diaspora to express their outrage and condemn the actions of the government. Somaliland media has constitutional responsibility and duty to protect the public interest and inform the public; these men have been in jail for 3 days for performing their constitutional duties.

We also call on the media to stand up with Haatuf and support it through this difficult time. It is certainly appropriate for you to show solidarity with sister newspaper by boycotting the government press conferences, interviews and press releases until these journalists are released from Jail. It is the responsibility of the media to inform the public when their rights are violated and we are confident you’ll do just that.


Xaashi Ismail
President, Somaliland Community
Washington DC