UN Envoy for Somalia concerned about continuous detention of Puntland journalist

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, today expressed his deep concern about the arbitrary arrest and detention on 19 November in Garowe of Mr. Jama Deperani, a correspondent for the privately owned Somali Channel TV.

“Freedom of expression is essential to guarantee open, free and fair political processes,” said SRSG Kay. SRSG Kay also noted the importance of strong legal frameworks to ensure the enjoyment of freedom of expression, calling for all media legislation to be compliant with human rights standards.

This latest arrest is part of a pattern of arrests and detentions of media workers in Puntland, undermining articles 14 and 22 of the Puntland Constitution, Article 18 of the Provisional Constitution and the International legal framework that protects freedom of expression.

On 10 November, the Puntland Minister of Information suspended Mr. Deperani from operating as a journalist, providing no justification. On 19 November, he was detained at the Garowe Central Police Station before the Garowe Regional Court of First Instance renewed his detention without the legal grounds for his arrest. Mr. Deperani is now being held at the Garowe Central Prison.