Somaliland: Court Vindicates Hubsad Media, Government Appeals


Abdirashid Nuur Wais chairman of Hubsad newspaper and Saeed Khadar Abdilahi and His editor in chief

By: Yusuf M Hasan 

Somalilandsun- The Hargeisa regional court has cleared Hubsad media and its duo of senior operatives after almost a year of controversial hearings.
Vindicated were the journalists are Abdirashid Nuur Wais, chairman of Hubsad newspaper and Saeed Khadar Abdilahi and His editor-in-chief of Hubsad newspaper whom the regional court based at the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa found not guilt of publishing of running unlicensed newspaper.
Though the Hubsad media group and its senior operatives have been found not guilty of having contravened any laws in the country, the paper cannot hit the press and streets because the government has appealed against the judgement.
Accordingly the the fate of Hubsad media and press freedoms in Somaliland hinge on the the outcome of deliberations by the appeal court in this unprecedented legal saga in which the judiciary having acted impartially seems to have gone against wishes of the litigant in this case the administration.
In its case against the duo the Government which is appealing lower court verdict alleged that the newspaper ownership was in question which in essence was a an argument over the papers legality.
According to the regional court the issue of ownership nor illegal publication does not occur since the Hubsad media group ownership had changed hands through proper legal channels thence the right of new owners, duo at the docks, to publish.
As the saga goes to the appeal court in an unprecedented move by the administration of ruling Kulmiye party, that has utilized a heavy handed approach towards freedom of speech local journalists and media operatives are holding their breathe in anticipation of a legal tussle that most hope will put the Government In its rightful place as pertains the fourth estate.

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