8 April 2017 (SofoNews) – The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today condemned the draconian two year jail term sentence handed down by Somaliland Court in Hargeisa .
A journalist Abdimalik Muse Coldoon was sentenced a two-year jail term starting from today after Somaliland authority accused him violating the sovereignty of Somaliland and offending the prestige of Somaliland leaders.
Coldoon who is popularly known for his support for social causes through media was arrested and detained by police in the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa upon return from Mogadishu on 15 February ,2017. Abdilmalik Musse Oldon was charged ant-national activity and violating the sovereignty and succession of Somaliland. The presiding judge was quoting article 328 on publication or circulation of false, exaggerated or tendentious news capable of disturbing public order and also the Article 220 on “offending the honor or prestige of the head of state
Presiding judge Chairman of Marodi Jeeh Regional Court Ahmed Dalmar Ismail said, they found Mr Coldoon guilty of breaching articles 212 and 328 of penal code, and discharged government’s allegation that the journalist had broken article 220. Judge Ismail sentenced Coldoon to two years of jail.
This is indeed another devastating blow to press freedom in the district but we are determined to pursue the fight for our colleague’s freedom,” Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists. “This sentence is all about cowing independent media into submission to government’s control and it is preposterous to even suggest these journalists represent a danger to peace and security.”
This is clearly an unfair and unjust sentence which adds to the anxiety of our colleague Abdimalik Muse Coldoon and his family. Moalimuu added
“Criminalization of the media will kill democracy and it has to be put to a stop. Mahir Jama Aden President of NUSOJ said reacting the jail sentence against journalist Abdimalik Muuse Coldoon .
A Journalist Abdimalik Codloon came to Mogadishu to cover the Somali elections and while reporting the elections from Mogadishu he interviewed politicians and met with candidates including the new President of Somalia in which he posted to social media.
Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia on May 18, 1991. No country has officially recognized Somaliland’s independence or succession.