A court in Hargeisa has sentenced Horn Cable TV editor Abdikadir Saleban Coday to one year in jail and a fine of 3 million Somaliland shillings ($300) for his reporting which the prosecution said amounted to ‘propaganda against Egal Airport.’
The Marodi Jeh Regional Court found Coday guilty and slapped him with one year behind bars in what journalists’ groups have termed a ‘politically motivated sentence’.
Horn Cable TV Director Mohamed Illig announced in a Facebook post that his colleague was sentenced Saturday morning following his arrest November 18. He has been on remand since then.
According to the prosecution, Coday tarnished the name and reputation of Egal Airport following a report he filed November 2, 2019 which questioned the air safety of the facility.
The report, according to Somali Journalists Syndicate (a journalists’ pressure group based in Mogadishu) indicated Flydubai, a UAE airline had complained about the services at Egal Airport.
SJS said in a statement following the verdict the sentencing was ‘politically motivated’.
“We are saddened to learn about the one-year jail sentence and the fine of three million shilling against our colleague journalist Abdikadir Saleban Asayr (Coday) in Hargeisa by Marodi Jeh Regional Court,” SJS Secretary General Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said.
“It is regrettable move, despite Somaliland’s Constitution clearly guarantees freedom of the press, that still such scenarios continue to happen.”
Coday’s sentencing following the three-year jail term handed to another journalist, Abdimalik Muse Oldon by a Somaliland court last July.