Hargeisa regional court has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail.
Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia.
Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated.
Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited poetry calling for Somali unity.
After a ferocious war, Somaliland broke away from the rest Somalia and declared itself as an independent Somaliland. The territory is home to about 3.5 million people.
The prosecution said that she had labelled the self-declared republic of Somaliland a “region” and “insulted and defamed” its government.
Somaliland’s Human Rights Centre has asked the government of Somaliland to release Nacima Qorane and respect human rights.
Its director, Guleid Ahmed Jama, told the BBC that it was “very concerned about the conviction and sentencing of Nacima Qorane”.
“Freedom of expression is enshrined and protected by the constitution of Somaliland. We urge the government of Somaliland to respect its own constitution,” he said.