18th April 2016- A judge at Hargeisa Regional Court schedules the hearing of criminal case against Muuse Jaambiir, chairman of Ogaal newspaper, on 23rd April 2016. According to charge sheet dated on 15th December 2015 submitted to the Court, the journalist is accused of publishing “false news defaming the President and shaming the first lady”. The charge sheet states that Ogaal newspaper published on 24th August 2015 and 30th August 2015 false news related to privatization process of a government owned Berbera Petroleum Tanks and the powers of the first lady.
Another judge at Hargeisa Regional Court sets on 23rd April 2016 as the hearing day of a criminal case against Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, chairman of Hubsad newspaper and Siciid Khadar Cabdilaahi, editor-in-chief of Hubsad newspaper. The journalists are accused of false publication and running of unlicensed newspaper. They were arrested on 30th November and released on bail on 3rd December. Hubsad newspaper is on suspension along with Codka Shacabka and Xog ogaal newspapers. Haatuf newspaper is on ban since April 2014.
“If convicted, the journalists would face years of imprisonment. This is a serious concern. The constitution clearly protects freedom of media. Criminalization of media is against the constitution and the Press Law. We call on the courts to apply and respect the constitution and the Press Law and drop these charges,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Chairperson of Human Rights Centre