Somalilandsun – Somaliland Journalist Association-SOLJA strictly condemning the guilty verdict and the jail sentence by regional court against journalists of Haatuf Media Network. After today on Wednesday 25 June 2014 the regional court sentenced two journalists Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, chairman of Haatuf Media Network
was sentenced to three years in jail while Ahmed Ali Egeh, Editor-in-chief of Haatuf newspaper (hiding out) was condemned to four years in prison and also the court revoked the license of Haatuf Media Network, which publishes Haatuf newspaper (in Somali) and Somaliland Times (In English) and fined Shsl 50,000,000/= ($7353 US Dollars). The media was not allowed to be present in the courtroom and Mr.Yusuf was immediately taken central prison in Hargeisa, while police still hunting Mr. Egeh. Both lawyers defending the two journalists complained in the court about bias from the presiding judge whom they accused of siding with the prosecutor and Somaliland officials and walked away from the court.
Somaliland government an action against the freedom of speech and expression continues after two media houses shutdown in particular as well as the latest long jailed sentenced of the two journalists. The prosecutor used of criminal defamation law through the Somali Penal Code decreed from former Siyad Barre’s regime and rejected to use his charges against journalists on Somaliland Media Law.
SOLJA bewails the court’s ignorance of Somaliland Media Law 2004 which approved by the parliament and signed by the former president and declares to the international community this issue is among the major constrains to freedom of expression in Somaliland.
SOLJA appeals to the International Community that the Somaliland’s press freedom and freedom of expression Government is in risk and seeks immediate protection against the government curbs on Journalists.
Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA)
Hargeisa main Office
www.ururkasolja.org Email: email@example.com