Somaliland Court sentences Astaan TV CEO to 5 years in prison

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Somaliland Court sentences Astaan TV CEO to 5 years in prison

Press-Statement

On 04 November 2020: the Somaliland Journalists Association is firmly against today’s court verdict of 5 years imprisonment to Abdimanaan Yusuf the owner of independent renowned Astaan Cable TV.

SOLJA is concerned and disappointed on the suspension of Television and fining with 2 Million SL Shilling, as this was one of the most diverse private televisions excelled at broadcasting influential social affairs programs and documentaries.

In today’s press conference at SOLJA headquarter, the SOLJA chairman Mohamud Abdi Jama said ‘ the regional Court and Attorney General office have intentionally overlooked the Somaliland media Law 27/2004 while prosecuting this case as they claimed improper registration while all his registrations were competed and have collected from the most recent registration documents just days before his detention’ He also said that SOLJA have been expecting the rewarding of Astaan TV due to their investment and praised media activities but it’s unfortunate the government have closed doors for this television.

More surprisingly, SOLJA is also concerned about today’s improper court charge announcements which the regional court does not provide any emphasis and details of the charges and articles found guilty resulting in this tough decision. As there have been several claims including improper registration or licenses of the television and allegations regarding Abdimanan have secret cooperation with Somalia national intelligence.

Lastly, the SOLJA chairman promised they will showcase any further efforts to release Abdimanan Yusuf and resume operation of Astaan TV taking the appropriate legal procedure and referring to the higher court proceedings by filing the appeal.

Yahye Mohamed
Executive Director-Somaliland Journalists Association

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