SOLJA and Xaqdoon Law Firm have submitted a case to Supreme Court against the repressive Penal Code:
On 23rd August 2020: the Somaliland Journalists Association and Xaqdoon Law Firm- legal consulting firm have submitted a case towards the Somaliland Supreme court against the repressive Penal Code law practice in media cases and provided alternatives for using the Somaliland Press law 27/2004.
The penal code mainly favored by the government due to the politically motivated arrests criminalizes the media workers for example the spreading of “false news”, including imprisonment of up to six months. Similarly, there are broad terms that are misinterpreted and vaguely applied to silence media workers for instances ‘Anti-national propaganda, anti-security propagations, incitements articles that result as long as 3 years in imprisonment. This has to lead the media cannot take its watchdog role in holding government accountable by carrying out investigative reports on corruption and weak policy analysis.
This legal advocacy is first strategic litigation mechanism establishing a network of lawyers, civil society groups and journalist to coordinate and strategically frame litigations against the illumination of the repressive Penal code and the Press Act is applied and awareness-raising campaign for media freedom spread head by Somaliland Journalists Association with support of Free Press Unlimited.
The Supreme Court chairman Adan Hajji Ali has received the drafted legal documents yesterday on Sunday 23 August 2020 from the joint advocacy team of SOLJA and Xaqdoon Law firm and willing to carry out nation-wide advocacy efforts to ensure the legal advocacy is succeeded. SOLJA is requesting from local grassroots civil society and international human rights organizations to join this initiative of alleviating the repressive media bill which will later reassure enable media environment across Somaliland where media is operating fearlessly. Yahye Mohamed Abdi