Somalia continues to struggle with political instability, breakaway attempts and repression. Even in the autonomous state of Puntland there are growing concerns for attacks on press freedom and free speech. The Committee to Protect Journalists had this statement on the sentencing of journalist Kilwe Adan Farah:
Nairobi, March 18, 2021 — In response to yesterday’s decision by a military court in the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland sentencing journalist Kilwe Adan Farah to three years in prison, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“Sentencing journalist Kilwe Adan Farah to three years in prison, with neither his lawyer nor his family present, is the latest in a string of abuses committed against the journalist since intelligence personnel arrested him last year,” said CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo. “The administration of Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni must immediately and unconditionally free Kilwe, and those officials responsible for these malicious judicial proceedings must be held to account.”
In separate statements, the Media Association of Puntland and the Somali Journalists Syndicate, two local press freedom groups, said that Kilwe received his sentence at the Garowe Central Prison, where he has been detained for months, in the presence of a group of military court judges and a prosecutor. Mustafe Mohamed Jama, Kilwe’s lawyer, told CPJ via messaging app that he was not allowed to attend the hearing or any of the proceedings in Kilwe’s case.
Read the full statement here.