WJWC Stands for Abdulrahman Sahl and Freedom of Expression in Somaliland
Expressing deep concern, Women Journalists Without Chains highlights the arrest of journalist and writer Abdulrahman Sahl Yusuf by the authorities in Somaliland at Hargeisa International Airport. The organization demands his immediate and unconditional release, along with an end to the policy of persecuting journalists and writers.
According to reports from a Somali lawyer and journalists, Abdul Rahman Sahl Yusuf was arrested on October 6, 2023, at Hargeisa Airport while on his way to the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The reasons behind Sahl's arrest remain unknown, as the authorities in Hargeisa refuse to provide any information about his current situation or the conditions of his detention. Moreover, he has been unable to contact his family or secure legal representation.
The arrest of Abdulrahman Sahl, as stated by Female Journalists Without Chains, appears to be a direct consequence of his journalistic endeavors. This act of kidnapping is a flagrant violation of local laws that explicitly prohibit arbitrary arrests. Furthermore, it sends an alarming message to journalists, regardless of gender, in Somalia, effectively stifling their freedom to fully engage in their journalistic work.
To safeguard the principles of freedom of expression and protect the rights of journalists and political detainees, Women Journalists Without Chains vehemently urges the authorities in Somaliland to take immediate action. The organization calls for the prompt release of journalist "Sahl" and a complete halt to the policy of persecution targeting both male and female journalists and political detainees. It is crucial to foster an environment that fosters freedom of opinion and expression, allowing individuals to express their thoughts without fear of reprisal.
Abdulrahman Sahl Yusuf, a journalist and political analyst, boasts an extensive career in journalism spanning over 22 years. He holds the position of president at the Qiraat Media Foundation and is affiliated with the Somali Qiraat website, both of which are esteemed independent journalistic institutions.
While expressing deep concern for the situation of Abdulrahman Sahl, Women Journalists Without Chains underscores the following crucial points:
• The authorities in Somaliland must prioritize the safety of Abdulrahman Sahl and ensure his immediate release, while granting him unfettered access to his family and legal counsel.
• The authorities in Somaliland must unequivocally adhere to local laws and international conventions, thereby safeguarding Abdulrahman Sahl from any form of torture or degrading treatment.
• In the event that the authorities in Somaliland hesitate to release him, it is imperative for the central government in Mogadishu to take swift and decisive action to secure his freedom.
• Women Journalists Without Chains further advocates for the release of all prisoners of conscience and expression across the country, emphasizing the critical need to guarantee the freedom of journalistic work in diverse Somali states.
Women Journalists Without Chains
October 19, 2023