Ahead of the scheduled hearing on Monday 6 February 2023, the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) reiterates its call to the Banadir Regional Court to dismiss the case against SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin who is also a renowned freelance journalist, while on the other hand, calls on the office of the Attorney General to drop the politically-motivated charges.
Abdalle was arbitrarily detained on 11 October 2022 a day after members of the Somali national intelligence raided SJS office in Mogadishu which followed after four media associations issued a joint press conference raising concerns against unlawful and restrictive order issued by the deputy minister of information Abdirahman Yusuf al-Adaala. Since 4 January 2023, the Banadir Regional Court made three hearings related to three charges brought by the office of the attorney general. All of the three charges are derived from the outdated Somali penal code.
The fourth hearing which was due on 26 January 2023 was postponed by the court citing security reasons. However, the day collided with the eight anniversary of the day Abdalle had survived an assassination attempt in 2015.
“Monday February 6, 2023 will be a historic day as the state of Somalia’s press freedom and freedom of expression will be at stake. SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Mumin is the leading voice of Somali journalists and the freedom of the press. We call for the Banadir Regional Court to dismiss the case against Abdalle,” Mohamed Ibrahim, president of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said, “We also emphasise the joint statement in December 2022 by the seven international human rights and press freedom organisation calling on Somali Attorney General Sulayman Mohamed Mohamoud to drop all the charges against Abdalle, noting that Abdalle had suffered violations to his right to a fair trial and that his continued prosecution casts a chilling effect on media freedom and journalism in the country.”
“We remind the office of the attorney general that the penal code which they are using to persecute our Secretary-General clearly contravenes the Somali Federal Constitution and international human rights laws including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Mr. Ibrahim added.
In August 2022, Somali government recognised that the outdated penal violates the human rights including the right to freedom of expression and subsequently announced that it can not be used for journalists.
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