Somaliland journalists sentenced to two years in prison on propaganda charges

A Somaliland regional court yesterday sentenced journalists Mohamed Abdilaahi Dabshid and Ahmed Dirie Liltire, to two years of prison on charges of conducting propaganda against the state, bringing Somaliland into contempt and “bringing the flag or national emblem of a foreign state” into contempt, according to a statement by the Human Rights Center (HRC), which quoted the lawyer in the case, Abibakar Sheikh Mohamoud.

Police in the city of Borama arrestedMohamed and Ahmed on December 26, 2017, following the publication of a story they allegedly wrote for the privately owned news website Xeegonews, which reported that Ethiopian rebel militias were training in the Awdal region of Somaliland, Yahye Ahmed, executive director of the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) and Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairperson of the Human Rights Center, a non-governmental organization based in Hargeisa, told CPJ. Guleid told CPJ that the story was quoted in the charge sheet against the two journalists but he could not find the story on the site and he had not seen it.

CPJ could not locate the story on Xeegonews and the site’s owners did not respond to a January 4 email asking about Mohamed and Ahmed’s case.

“These heavy prison sentences are yet further evidence of the Somaliland government’s slow strangulation of media freedom,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney in New York. “We demand the release of Mohamed Abdilaahi Dabshid and Ahmed Dirie Liltire pending appeal.”

According to the HRC statement, the lawyer said the journalists will appeal the ruling. CPJ was unable to determine if an appeal has been scheduled.

Somaliland’s information minister, Abdurrahman Abdullahi Farah, did not pick up repeated phone calls nor respond to text messages. The CPJ’s phone calls to Somaliland’s chief justice, Adam Haji Ali, were not answered.

Salma Sheikh, who said that she is a management consultant and planning head for the information ministry, told CPJ that the office would look into the case in five days.

In addition to their work for Xeegonews, Mohamed works for the privately owned Kalsan TV, and Ahmed works as a correspondent for the Puntland-based Somali Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), a non-governmental media group, Yahye Ahmed and Yahye Ismail Sheikh, the East Africa head of Kalsan TV, told CPJ.

Conditions for journalists in semi-autonomous Somaliland have steadily deteriorated in recent months with authorities using allegations of false news to muzzle the press. One Somali journalist, Mohamed Adan Dirir, is serving a sentence of 18 months on charges of false news.

Isha Ku Hay Allgalgaduud Media

allgalgaduud@gmail.com


Fikradaha Akhristayaasha (0)




ADVERTISMENT

LATEST NEWS

DHAGEYSO:-Sida loogu dhawaaqay xilka qaadistii gudoomiyaha gobolka banaadir
- Jan 21, 2018
Madaxweynaha Somalia Maxamed C/laahi Farmaajo ayaa xil ka qaadis ku sameeyay Guddoomiyaha Gobolka Banaadir ...
DHAGEYSO+SAWIRO:-Warbixin Socdaalkii madaxwaynaha ee Balanballe ,Xeraale iyo Caabudwaaq
- Jan 21, 2018
Madaxweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliya Maxamed Cabdulaahi Farmaajo oo Socdaalkii uu ugu magacdarey Socdaalkii Nabadda iyo Dib ...
Akhriso- Madaxweyne C/wali Cali Gaas oo Soo saaray War Farxad Galiyay Shacabka Puntland
- Jan 21, 2018
Madaxweynaha Dowlada Puntland Cabdwali Cali Gaas oo ku sugan  Xarunta Madaxtooyada ee Magaalada Garoowe ...
Ciidamada Dowlada Afgaanistaan Oo Soo bad baadiyay 150 qof Oo lagu Weerar Hotel kuyaala Caasimada Afgaanistaan ee Kaabuul
- Jan 21, 2018
Ciidamada dalka Afhaanistaan ayaa soo Afajaray saaka howlgalkii ay ku qaadeen Weerar kooxo hubaysan ...
Madaxweyna Oo Saaka Dhagax dhigaya Dhismaha Dekeda Hobyo
- Jan 21, 2018
Madaxweynaha Soomaaliya Maxamed Cabdulaahi Farmaajo ayaa saaka waxaa lafilayaa in uu dhagax dhigo dhismaha ...