A Somaliland Court has sentenced Abdimalik Muse Oldon to two years in prison for ‘endangering peace and security’ in Somalia’s breakaway region.
The Marodi-Jeh regional court in Hargeisa sentenced the journalist after convicting him of anti-national activities, disturbing public order and spreading false news for his coverage of the 2017/2017 Somali elections.
Oldon was arrested upon his arrival at Egal International Airport in Hargiesa by Somaliland’s National Police on February 15th, he had been travelling from Mogadishu where he met with the newly elected Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
The Hargeisa court accused Mr. Oldon of promoting an ideology of a united Somalia through his meeting with the Somali President.
Journalists in Somalia have condemned the arrest of Mr. Oldon and have demanded the Somaliland authorities release him.
Abdimalak Oldon was recently honoured in London during an award ceremony celebrating the achievements of the Somali community. The International Somali Awards named Mr. Oldon as the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Community Contribution award.
Days before his sentencing, Abdimalik Oldon’s 8-year-old son pleaded to the Somaliland President to release his father. His family told reporters that they will appeal the verdict.
Somaliland is a breakaway region internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia since 1991.