Posted by: africanpressorganization | 1 April 2009

Somalia / Freelance journalist gets two years in prison in Puntland on defamation charge



Somalia / Freelance journalist gets two years in prison in Puntland on defamation charge


MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 1, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A court in Bosaso, the main port city of the semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland, yesterday sentenced freelance journalist Jama Ayanle Feyte to two years in prison, Reporters Without Borders has learned from its partner organisation in Somalia, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).

Feyte was not defended by a lawyer at the trial, which was held four days after he was arrested in Bosaso. He was accused of defamation and disseminating false information but the authorities did not specify what prompted the charges.

“Feyte is the victim of a flagrant case of summary justice and must be freed without delay,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This conviction was clearly politically motivated as there were absolutely no grounds for the charges. We urge the Puntland authorities to adopt a law that protects press freedom and protects journalists from arbitrary arrest.”

Several local sources said Feyte’s arrest on 26 March was ordered by Puntland interior minister Abdullahi Jama Ilkajir and could have been prompted by political comments Feyte had made about the region’s authorities. Feyte works for several local newspapers and the et websites.



SOURCE : Reporters without Borders (RSF)


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