Garowe, Friday 18, 2019: The Media Association of Puntland calls for an immediate, just and free trail for the detained Journalist Ahmed (Tallman) who was arrested by the Garowe police on the October 17, 2019 who is being kept in detention at the capital’s central police station.
Ahmed’s case is linked to a September 11, 2019 news broadcasted by the Daljir radio alleging that the Puntland Police commissioner Gen. Muhyadin and his security staff for being responsible of an alleged Al-Shabaab prisoner who died as a result of police interrogation. The Police commissioner who was upset on the broadcast filed a libel suit days after the broadcast accusing the Daljir radio for Slander.
Since the filing of the libel suit MAP has met with the Police commissioner and the Puntland chief prosecutor through tête-à-tête meetings as well as through phone calls in a bid to resolve the case, despite the efforts the results didn’t go successful and lead to the arrest of Journalist Ahmed Tallman. Importantly MAP has hired a practicing veteran defense lawyer who came on board mid-September and will be representing our colleague at the court. On issues related to the court appearance. the Puntland Attorney General Mohamud Hassan Aw-Osman has confirmed to MAP that Journalist Ahmed will appear to court on Sunday (20th OCT)
”MAP has been at the upfront since the case brought against our colleague, the Daljir’s radio Director, we have met with the police commissioner, Puntland chief prosecutor and other high court officials in meetings for almost 6-8 times since the libel case was filed in mid-September with the intention was to resolve the case through negotiations, however negotiations didn’t go successful. The court warrant for the arrest of our colleague was an unfortunate move by the authorities,they could easily ask Ahmed to come the court at a given date and time or even ask MAP to bring the Journalist to court.Adding, I have visited Ahmed at the station he is being held today and have made sure that he is being held at a human healthy friendly room and is getting good food” Said Mohamed Dahir MAP Chair
While MAP keeps a close watch on the upcoming Sunday, the Association strongly condemns the propaganda Machines spreading baseless information on this case. Local Somali organizations that have no base in Puntland and have repeatedly published false information for the sake of publicity have also put MAP in a weak negotiating position, the fact that authorities have accused MAP for being the source of those false reports brings a great concern on local advocacy efforts. More worse, the same false reports have been picked up and cited by international watchdogs such as IFJ and Reporters without-borders.
”We are very happy for support in terms of Advocacy provided by International media development and Freedom of expression groups, however citing false or baseless news reports will only put local Journalists in tougher position and will not be of any-help, please international partners be cautious on your sources and do not hurt our advocacy efforts as a result of your uninformed information sourcing cited for your press statements, said MAP chair
MAP will continue its efforts in promoting and defending the Journalists and media interest, freedom of expression and media freedoms through increased advocacy, importantly on pressing the government to investigate crimes committed against and the respect to media independence.
N:B MAP will keep posting updates on this case soon as new developments arise