Somaliland court sentences Journalist to three and a half years in jail

Abdimalik Muse Oldon

Press Release .

Mogadishu-Somalia: FESOJ Denounces Three Year and Six Months Jail Sentence of Independent Journalist in Somaliland and seeks a fair trial against murderer of a journalist in Mogadishu in 2018 despite a military court ruling.

The Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ), formerly known as NUSOJ has strongly condemned today a court verdict against independent journalist Abdimalik Muse Oldon in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa who was sentenced to three years and six months of prison.

Arrested on April 17, 2019 Oldon was accused off critical reporting against Somaliland government officials , harsh social media posts and smear campaign against Abaarso school in Hargeisa.

Abdisalan Shiekh Hassan Ahmed , the presiding judge of Marodi Jeh regional court announced that he found guilty of journalist Oldon breaching articles 215, 328 and 452 of Somaliland penal and he was subsequently sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

Abdimalik Muse Oldon

“This is indeed another devastating blow to press freedom in Somaliland but we are determined to pursue the fight for our colleague’s freedom. This sentence is all about cowing independent media into submission to government’s control and it is clearly an unfair and unjust sentence which adds to the anxiety of our colleague Abdimalik Muse Coldoon and his family” Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, Secretary General of Federation of Somali Journalists said .

Defending lawyer of the journalist Mubarak Abdi said the sentence of Abdimalik Muse Oldon was unfair, politically motivated and declared he would appeal the unfair judgment.

On the other hand , FESOJ is still demanding to the Federal Government of Somalia to bring in front of the justice to face fair trail the police officer who shot down a photographer Abdirizak Kasim Iman in Mogadishu in 2018.

A Somali military court in Mogadishu found a policeman Abdullahi Ali Nur guilty for the killing of Abdirizak Kasim Iman, a cameraperson for the privately owned SBS TV, who was shot dead in Mogadishu on the afternoon of July 26,2018.

“The judge of the military court Captain Ahmed Ali Ahmed avowed on November 1st 2018 the court found out that the accused policeman Abdullahi Ali Nur is guilty for his direct responsibility in shooting the cameraman and sentenced while absent for payment 100 camels of compensation as well as a five-year of military prison.

“The trail of the military court is at least a step forward but we still demand that the immediate arrest of the preparator to face fair trial since we know that he is hiding somewhere in central Somalia “Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu Secretary General of Federation of Somali Journalist (FESOJ) said.

“This judgement is not making any sense if the culprit is moving freely in Somalia, so we want a conviction that is satisfied by the parents of the journalist killed”Moalimuu added.