Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 17, 2011 (SL Times) – The appeals court
sided with the Hargeysa Regional court and confirmed the guilty judgment
against Saxafi editor Abdifatah Mohamoud Aydid. The court was presided
by Judge Ahmed Salah.
The appeals judge reduced Abdifatah Mohamoud Aydid‘s monetary fine from
$1000 to $700. He also nullified the regional court's decision that if
the defendant committed a similar violation within two years, Saxafi
newspaper would lose its publishing license.
The case against Saxafi newspaper’s editor was brought by the Minister
of Aviation, Mohamoud Hashi Abdi, in reaction to allegations in Saxafi
newspaper about misuse of Kuwaiti funds by the ministry of Aviation.
Saxafi editor Abdifatah Mohamoud Aydid said the decision of the appeals
court was flawed in that it was based on the penal code, and not on
Somaliland’s press law which was signed by Somaliland’s president. He
also said he will take his case further to the Supreme Court.
The case against Saxafi’s editor as well as other cases in which
government officials are using the penal code to punish journalists has
raised wide concern about the government’s commitment to the freedom of
Abdifatah M. Aidied is also assistant editor of Somaliland Times, a
weekly newspaper published by Haatuf Media Network