Garowe, Puntland Somalia, November 22, 2015: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) strongly condemns and expresses grave concerns over the decision announced by the Garowe district court on November 21st 2015.
The court has prolonged the pretrial detention for additional 15 days on basis for extra investigation, a decision believed to have been influenced by the Puntland administration. Both Jama and his lawyer were denied appearance to the court at the time of the ruling. The Journalist detained at Garowe central police station from 19 November 2015 was moved to the Central prison of Garowe yesterday after the ruling.
The detention without charges and the extension of the pre-trial of Jama without court appearance is the latest shift by the Puntland government to stiffen the prickle on the state’s independent media. The Puntland Administration should stop gagging journalists through fabricated charges and arbitary arrests of Journalists and harrasments that truly under the media independence.
The arrest of the prominent Somalia channel journalist and host of ‘Deperani show’ has strained fierce denunciation from parliamentarians and the entire media workers in Puntland State of Somalia.
At a news conference in the capital, Garowe, three Members of Parliament–Abdihakin Dhobadired, Ali Dhega Adde and Abdi Samatar Surad–called the detention of journalist, Jama Yusuf Jama ‘illegal’.
Ali haji Warsame former Puntland Minister of information on an interview with somali channel TV noted that ‘’Puntland constitution gives due importance to the Freedom of Expression and Opinions, citing 2nd, 14th and 22th articles that stipulate supremacy of rule of law, every person’s right to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the media. I call for the release of Jama Deperani, he concluded.
Solidarity Protests and calls for Deperani’s immediate release across Puntland, Nationwide and worldwide
In a solidarity call for the immediate release Jama Deperani, Puntland media workers marched, having their mouths covered white masking tapes and hosting banners that read free ‘’Jama Deperani’’ and called for the immediate release of Jama through regional press conferences held in Mudug, Nugaal, Bari and the Cayn regions of Puntland.
Relatively the call for the immediate release has been evident accross the country through press conferences held in By the media and Published in broadcast and TV shows in majority of the media platforms of Somalia.
Silencing these critical voices is unacceptable, the government must genuinely show that it remains committed to upholding the fundamental human rights of all citizens, and recognise the terrific role that the media is playing and continues to play in a fragile democracy, without imposing unlawful exceptions or limitations.
MAP calls for the international community and rights defenders to make an immediate protest against this outrageous treatment of journalists. There must be a universal condemnation of this infringement of the basic right to freedom of expression.