Federation of Somali Journalist (FESOJ) welcomes the release of freelance journalist Abdulkadir Barre Moalim who was released from jail on Saturday, December 1, 2019 after spending sixty-eight days of unlawful sentence.
Abdulkadir Barre Moalim was arrested on 25th September when security forces in Baidoa raided him at his house on Wednesday night around 10:00 PM local time due to covering a press conference by local elders at that day who reportedly condemned the move to block former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his delegation of Himilo Qaran Political Party traveling to Kismayo, Jubbaland.
Abdulkadir Barre Moalim and other three defendants were all sentenced on three months jail after the ruling judge declared they were found guilty for violating article 232 (political conspiracy to commit crime) of Somalia’s penal code by organizing a political gathering without the knowledge and informing to the local authority , a move that could wind up freedom of expression and association, fundamental rights protected by the Somalia’s Provisional Constitution and theSouth West State constitution.
“I have regained my freedom this afternoon and I am now with my family, I believe I was wrongfully sentenced and our trail was totally unfair. We have eaten up most of the three months we were sentenced and we had only four days left” Abdulkadir Barre Moalim told FESOJ on the phone.
“I thank to all the media and human rights organizations that were speaking loudly during our imprisonment” Freelance journalist Barre added
FESOJ considers the imprisonment of the journalist Abdulkadir Barre Moalim as unfair, whose sole purpose is to intimidate the press to turn their eyes away from the abuses and autocracies committed by the local administration.
“I am very sorry that a journalist working for his people to share with the information, to be sentenced for three months of imprisonment, it clearly shows this weak level of tolerance by South West state, and disrespect of freedom of speech and media, therefore We call upon Southwestern leaders to respect the right of the citizen to express his opinion and the media’s right to deliver information to the public ‘ Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu FESOJ General Secretary said
FESOJ calls upon the friends of Somalia to use their influence to urge the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Members States to respect media freedoms and to bring to justice anyone who violates the rights of the media who work under hard and dangerous conditions to provide vital information to the Somali public