29 June 2017- Human Rights Centre condemns the criminal charges brought against journalist Ahmed Mouse Sakaro. Ahmed is accused of “insult to a public officer and substitution of a person,” according to the charge sheet dated 3rd June 2017.
The Office of the Attorney General accuses Ahmed of insulting the Manager of Burao Water Agency, Fathi Mohamed Abdilahi, for writing in 13th May 2017 opinion article about mismanagement of finances. The Office of Attorney General also argues that Ahmed is not a journalist and as such “a guilt of substitution of a person”.
Ahmed is facing the charges before Togdheer Regional Court. Togdheer is located east of Somaliland. Buroa is the administrative capital of Togdheer.
“The charges against Ahmed are absurd. This is not the first time Ahmed is charged for his writings. He was arrested many times, beaten up and wrongly prosecuted,” says Guleid Ahmed Jama, the chairperson of Human Rights Centre.
“We call on the Attorney General to withdraw the charges and halt the intimidation of journalists. Ahmed is a well-known journalist who worked for many prominent newspapers and websites. Freedom of media is protected by article 32 of the Constitution of Somaliland and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Guleid added.
Guleid Ahmed Jama
The Chairperson of Human Rights Centre