IFJ denounces the one-year jail term to a freelance journalist in Somalia

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) today has vigorously denounced the one-year jail term to a

freelance journalist in Somalia.

According to the National Union of Somali

Journalists (NUSOJ), an IFJ affiliate, the journalist Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim

aka Koronto, 25, was sentenced on February 5  by a court in Banadir Region (Mogadishu), to one year

in prison for offending “reputation of national institution”, spreading “false

news” and “paying money to get false rape story”. 

“We called on authorities in Somalia

to immediately quash the conviction as the trial is unfair. We encourage the

defense to appeal the ruling. The IFJ is concerned about the situation of

journalists and media practitioners in Somalia. The new authorities are highly

expected to take effective action to promote press freedom and promote the

security of journalists,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.

NUSOJ said that after sentencing,

the journalist Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim was immediately transferred to central

prison in Mogadishu. He was arrested on 10 January after that of Mrs. Lul Ali

Osman, 27, a woman who is alleged rape victim by security forces.  She

spoke to the journalist after her husband allegedly brought the journalist to

her for an interview which has never been published. She was also sentenced to

one year in prison.   

IFJ joins NUSOJ to denounce the fact

that the journalist Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim was detained beyond legal limit

without charges and without legal representations for days. NUSOJ stated that

the journalist’s mobile phone was confiscated and his home searched. His

trial started on 2 February but was adjourned. NUSOJ officials attending the

trial said there were a lot of irregularities during the investigation, there

were intimidations and constant violation of defense rights.

"Imprisoning a journalist

simply for doing his job challenges media freedom and makes a mockery of the

legal process in Somalia," said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

"The Somali government should rectify this miscarriage of justice


NUSOJ also raised concern of

prosecuting the journalist under Somali penal code.  “Charging a

journalist under penal code for doing his work means criminalizing journalistic

work. We are against trying a journalist under penal code,” said NUSOJ in a

letter to the Minister of Interior.


and false news remain criminal offenses under Somalia’s penal code. “The Somali

government should urgently amend the Penal Code and decriminalize libel in

order to allow journalists to exercise their profession,” Baglo added.

For more information contact the IFJ on +221 33

867 95 86/87


IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries