- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has denounced the 9 August court decision against two radio journalists in Hargeisa, who were sentenced to prison terms as well as fines.
The Hargeisa Regional Court sentenced journalists Mohamed Osman Mire, widely known as "Siyad", and Ahmed Suleyman Dhuhul, director and news editor of Horyaal Radio respectively, to prison terms of six months and a fine of 300,000 Somaliland shillings (approx. US$45) each.
The two journalists were convicted for reporting at a radio station, which is unlawfully operating in Somaliland, and disseminating information that resulted in loss of life and property, according to the court’s ruling.
The journalists are however said to have asked to buy their prison terms, which according to
Somaliland law, convicted people are allowed to pay money for prison terms of less than one year.
They were each reported to have paid an amount of 2,500,000 Somaliland shillings (approx. US$373) and were released.
Somaliland authorities had arrested the two Horyaal Radio journalists after the station aired, on the evening of 10 July, a closed-door meeting between Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin and twenty-five elders from Gabiley town, which reportedly ended in disagreement, according to trustworthy according to sources.
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