Somaliland: Regional Appellate Court Lifts Ban on Haatuf Newspaper Operations



HARGEISA– Haatuf newspaper operations which has been banned from operating in Somaliland is granted to operate legally in the country on Sunday by regional appellate court in Hargeisa. The newspaper’s license  was reinstated to resume its operations which has been banned for four years. A court in Hargeisa ordered the suspension of the operations of the newspaper and revoked its license after it was accused of publishing false news stories. The chairman of Haatuf Newspaper, Hon. Yusuf Abdi Gabobe has welcomed the lifting of the ban of the newspaper in a press conference held in Hargeisa. Mr. Gabobe said that justice has been done  today which we felt we have been looking for.

The regional appellate court has lifted the ban on the newspaper which was in place since April 2014. Mr. Gabobe told BBC Somali services that the ban was also impacted on the English and Arabic versions of the newspaper. The chairman told that he asked  the court a compensation for the destruction of newspaper equipment. He dismissed that his paper committed an act of defamation but covered stories on widespread corruption and power abuse during Silanyo’s government. He said that his paper will write corruptions committed in the future. It is not yet clear the date set for the newspaper to be published.

On the 7th of April 2014, Somaliland police shut down the newspaper and confiscated all equipment where Haatuf used to operate and produce three newspapers published in Somali, English and Arabic languages. Four plaintiffs where three were public officials sued the newspaper in the court. On the 25th of June 2014, Hargeisa regional court issued a verdict accusing the defamation of public officials  and banned the newspaper publication and revoking its license for production.  The newspaper disseminated stories accusing a minister of committing widespread corruption where it had proves where it accused Silanyo’s son-in-law of power abuse. Finally, the chairperson has thanked the regional appellate court of lifting the ban on the newspaper and the Somaliland people who lobby for freedom of expression and particularly the freedom of the media.




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