Pontus Marine

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Somaliland attorney general pursues journalists acquitted of publishing false news (translated)

New York, January 20, 2017--Somaliland Attorney General Hasan Ahmed Hasan should immediately drop his appeal of a court's acquittal of two journalists charged with publishing false news and operating an unlicensed newspaper, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

An appeals court in Hargeisa, the capital of the semi-autonomous republic, is expected to consider the case on January 23, Guleid Ahmed Jama, chairman of the local advocacy group Human Rights Center, said in a statement emailed to CPJ. The Hargeisa Regional Court on November 12, 2016, acquitted Abdirashid Nur Ways and Said Khadar Abdilahi, the chairman and editor of the shuttered Hubsad newspaper, respectively, of charges of publishing false news and running an unlicensed publication.


"Abdirashid Nur Ways and Said Khadar Abdilahi should never have faced criminal charges in the first place," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal. "Pursuing journalists after a court has exonerated them lays bare the government's intention to intimidate the press."
Guleid told CPJ that the charge of publishing false news stemmed from a Hubsad article alleging irregularities in the sale of state-owned land. The lower court also acquitted Abdirashid and Said of the charge of operating an unlicensed newspaper, but upheld the newspaper's suspension until it could complete the licensing process. The attorney general is petitioning an appeals court to overturn both acquittals and to jail both journalists. Guleid previously told CPJ that the journalists could face "years" in prison if convicted, saying that Somaliland's laws are unclear about potential penalties.
CPJ attempted to call the attorney general several times, but the calls did not go through, and he did not reply to text messages requesting comment. Somaliland Information Minister Osman Abdullahi Sahardid likewise did not respond to CPJ's phone calls and text messages requesting comment.

Urur caalami ah oo ugu baaqay Xeer-ilaaliyaha Guud ee Somaliland inuu ka noqdo dacwadda ka dhanka ah suxufiiiynta Hubsad
Ururka caalamiga ah ee u dooda xuquuqda suxufiyiinta ee fadhigiisu yahay Maraykanka ee la yidhaahdo Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) aya warsaxaafadeedkan ka soo saaray dacwad rafcaan ah oo ka dhan ah suxufiyiinta wargeyska Hubsad.
Xeer-ilaaliyaha Guud ee Somliland Xasan Axmed waa inuu sida ugu dhaqsaha badan u joojiyo oo uu dib ula noqdo rafcaanka uu ka qaatay xukunka waxba loogu waayay laba suxufi oo lagu eedeeyey inay daabaceen war been abuur ah iyo inay soo saareen wargeys aan diiwaangashanayn.
 Waxa la filayaa in 23ka January ay Maxkamadda Rafcaanka Hargeysa, caasimadda Somaliland, ay dhegaysato dacwadda, sida uu CPJ u sheegay Guleid Ahmed Jama oo ah gudoomiyaha Xarunta Xuquuqal Insaanka oo ah urur u dooda xuquuqal insaanka. Maxkamadda Gobolka Hargeysa waxaay 12 November 2016 soo saartay xukun ay sheegtay in waxba lagu waayay Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays, gudoomiyaha Hubsad, iyo Siciid Khadar Nuur, tafatiraha Hubsad, eedihii loo soo jeediyay ee ahaa inay daabaceen war been abuur ah iyo inay soo saareen wargeys aan diiwaangashanayn.
“Ma ahayn in marka horeba wax dacwad ciqaab ah lagu soo oogo Cabdirashiid Nuur Wacays iyo Siciid Khadar Cabdilahi,” ayay tidhi Angela Quintal oo ah isku-duwaha Barnaamijka Afrika ee CPJ. “In laga hadhi waayo suxufiyiin maxkamadi waxba ku wayday waxay cadaayn aan daah saarnayn u tahay in ujeedada dawladdu tahay inay u caga juglayso saxaafadda,” ayay ku dartay.
 Guleid wuxuu u sheegay CPJ in eedda ah war been abuur ah ay salka ku hayso war uu qoray Hubsad oo sheegayay in hab aan haboonayn loo maray iibinta dhul qaranku leeyahay. Maxkamadda hoose way ku wayday Cabdirashid iyo Siciid eedii ahayd inay soo saareen wargeys aan diiwaangashayn, balse waaxay ayiday inaan wargeysku soo bixinta ilaa hanaanka ruqsad bixinta la dhamaystirayo. Xeer-ilaaliyaha Guud wuu ka rafcaan qaatay isaga oo raba in labada suxufi xadhig lagu xukumo. Guleid wuxuu hore ugu sheegay CPJ in suxufiyiintu ay wajihi karaan sanado xadhig ah hadii la xukumo, isaga oo sheegay inaan shurucuda Somaliland si fiican u cadayn ciqaabta ay mudan karaan.
 CPJ waxaay isku dayday marar badan inaay telefoon kula hadasho Xeer-ilaaliyaha Guud, balse way ku wayday telefoonka, fariimo qoraal ah oo loo dirayna kama uu jawaabin. Wasiirka Warfaafinta ee Somaliland Cismaan Cabdilaahi Saxardiid sidoo kale wax jawaab ah kamuu bixin telefoono iyo fariimo qoraal ah oo aanu kaga codsanayn inuu ka jawaabo arinka.
Translated by Guleid Ahmed Jama