SOMALILAND COURT SENTENCES TV EDITOR TO ONE YEAR IN PRISON AND $ 350 FINE
For immediate release 11th Jan, 2020
A court in Hargeisa, Somaliland has sentenced the editor of the privately owned Horncable TV, Abdulkadir Saleban to 1 year in prison after convicting him on a charge that Human Rights Journalists (HRJ) believes to be retribution for the TV reports on ill-services of Egal International Airport in Hargeisa and an interview with the leader of an armed separatist militia in Somaliland by the TV.
The judge accused Horncable TV editor of spreading fake news after the TV covered news about safety of Somaliland civil aviation amid complaint from FlyDubai Company which had protested the poor services of Hargeisa’s Egal airport and subsequently redirected its flights to Somaliland to the neighboring Djibouti.
In addition to the prison sentence, Saleban was fined three million Somaliland Shillings which is equivalent to $350. The Human Rights Journalists is “deeply troubled” by the outcome of the case and denounces the court verdict as a clear violation of press freedom enshrined by the Somaliland constitution.
The Secretary General of Human Rights Journalists Abdulkadir Farah Dulyar calls on the Somaliland authorities to respect journalists’ independence and to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Saleban.
Somaliland should know that independent media plays a crucial role in building a strong, democratic and peaceful state.