Somaliland: Court Delivers Verdict against 4 Journalists


Quartet of judged Somaliland journalists


HARGEISA: (Somalilandsun) -The regional court of Maroodi-Jeh sitting in Hargeisa has finally concluded the case against four journalists arrested in December last year for taking part in an illegal demonstration, inciting the public, creating disturbance contrary to public order and breach of peace.

The journalists were arrested while taking part in a demonstration in support of their comrades following the closure of Hubaal a Hargeisa based independent paper that was viewed as pro opposition by the ruling regime.

The trial judge while delivering his verdict warned the members of the press from public incitement in discourse of their professional responsibility. The judge Mr. Ahmed Dalmar Ismail fined three (3) accused Said Khadar Abdullahi, Abdiaziz Bashir Noor & Abdisalaam Abdirashid to pay 600,000 SLSH (equivalent to $100) whereas Hassan Maal Dhidar was acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence warranting the charges.

The four accused were outside the state owned Somaliland bank when the judgment was being delivered at Hargeisa’s court buildings but were however satisfied with the ruling contending that the justice was not only done but was seen to be done. At the same time they extended thanks to the presiding judge who heard their case from when they were incarcerated in police cells till the conclusion of the case. The accused journalists were later bonded by the minister for education & the chair of state owned human right commission.

The freed journalists were in jovial mood but categorical in warning the Government against suppression of the freedom of press. Journalist Said Khadar Abdullahi speaking to the press on court decision equipped; “I am satisfied with the court’s judgment especially the presiding judge Mr.A.D.Ismail who dispense justice accordingly but remind the Government that we are not their enemies, President Silanyo should not be misled by few boot lickers in his kitchen cabinet that point fingers to anyone who is a threat to their vested interest but he (Silanyo) should do things with wisdom”.