Togdheer, Somaliland – Journalists from the Togdheer region have united in condemnation of the arrest and subsequent detention of journalist Bushaaro Ali Bandey by Somaliland government forces. Demanding her immediate release, these journalists held a press conference in Burco town to voice their concerns.
During the press conference, a spokesperson representing the journalists expressed their collective outrage, stating, “Today, the journalists of Togdheer region have come together to condemn the arrest of journalist Bushaaro Ali Bandey and demand her release without any delay.” The arrest of Bushaaro has raised considerable alarm within the journalist community, who view it as a flagrant violation of press freedom.
The journalists also highlighted the unfortunate reality that numerous journalists had been forced to flee the country due to government repression and the curtailment of their freedoms. Such actions have cast a shadow over the media landscape, inhibiting the free flow of information and stifling independent reporting.
Bushaaro Ali Bandey, who resides in England and holds British citizenship, has passionately advocated democracy in Somaliland. Her arrest has prompted international attention, with human rights organizations closely monitoring the situation. Muthoki Mumo, the sub-Saharan Africa representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), emphasized the urgency of Bushaaro’s release and the importance of journalists reporting on matters of public interest without hindrance.
“Somaliland journalist Bushaaro Ali Bandey should be released immediately and unconditionally, and she should be allowed to carry out her reporting duties without interference,” said Muthoki Mumo of CPJ. “The imprisonment of journalists based on their dissenting or critical opinions is unacceptable. Authorities should foster an environment that encourages diverse views and protects press freedom.”
As the case unfolds, denying access to Bushaaro’s family members to visit her in detention further raises concerns about transparency and due process. The international community awaits updates on the situation, urging Somaliland authorities to respect the rights of journalists and ensure their safety.
The coming days will prove crucial in determining the course of action regarding Bushaaro Ali Bandey’s detention and the state of press freedom in Somaliland. It is paramount that the government prioritizes the protection of journalists and upholds their right to report freely on matters of public interest, thereby promoting a democratic society that values freedom of expression.