The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has today strongly condemned the decision of Hargeisa’s Marodi Jeeh Court which sentenced 5 years in prison to owner of privately ASTAAN TV, Abdimanan Yusuf, suspended indefinitely ASTAAN TV in Somaliland and ordered Yusuf to pay a fine of 2 billion Somaliland Shillings.
“This is a deliberately politized case that was designed from the beginning to victimise Abdimanan Yusuf over a totally fabricated accusation in order to reach the ultimate goal of silencing ASTAAN TV” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Abdimanan Yusuf is innocent and today’s ruling is a travesty of justice”.
The sentence announced by the Hargeisa court sends a chilling effect to independent media organisations in Somaliland that they can be silenced for completely politicised and concocted accusations in a bid to legitimise an unlawful takeover of a privately-owned media organisation or ban news media organisations altogether.
NUSOJ demands the Somaliland authorities to end the sinister use of the judiciary to silence media voices, and the swift reversal of the politically motivated judgement against ASTAAN TV and its owner Abdimanan Yusuf.