Court sentences police officer who shot and seriously injured cameraman in Mogadishu to one year in jail

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Mogadishu (Onkod Radio)– Somalia 19 June, 2022 – Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) and the Somali Media Association (SOMA) welcome the Somali military court verdict of one year jail term on a Haramcad police officer who shot and seriously injured SJS member and Goobjoog TV cameraman, Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye on 20 March 2021 in Mogadishu.

This comes after three hearings by the court since 10 May with the attendance of family members of the victim, lawyers and SJS representatives.

In his decision officially announced on Saturday, the Court of First Instance of the Armed Force judge also ruled that convicted 25-yr-old police officer, Saalim Hassan Daa’uud, to pay the compensation for the injuries done to the cameraman. According to the judge, the same court will decide the amount of the injury compensation.

In a press conference in Mogadishu, SJS and SOMA praised the court verdict and called for accountability for other cases against journalists. Ending impunity for crimes against journalists in Somalia is one of the most pressing issues to guarantee freedom of expression and access to information. The country remains to be the world’s worst country for unsolved killings and attacks of journalists.

SJS legal representative, Avv. Abdirahman Hassan Omar (centre), SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Mumin (right) and Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye speak at the a press conference in Mogadishu, Saturday 19 June, 2022. | PHOTO/SJS. Mohamed Jibril
SJS legal representative, Avv. Abdirahman Hassan Omar (centre), SJS Secretary-General, Abdalle Mumin (right) and Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye speak at the a press conference in Mogadishu, Saturday 19 June, 2022. | PHOTO/SJS. Mohamed Jibril

“We are pleased to win in this case. It has been a long process that took more than a year. Today the military court has announced its decision following the long process of investigation into the shooting that led the injury of journalist Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye. We hope the court’s decision will be implemented as it is,” SJS legal representative, Avv. Abdirahman Hassan Omar, who represented the victim said.

“I am extremely glad today to see that justice has been done. I was shot and seriously injured on 20 March 2021. I was in the hospital for five months and never expected to survive. Police initially refused to investigate my case but thanks to the unending pressure by my colleagues at SJS and the lawyers who were committed to get justice for me. I urge all journalists who have been attacked to come out. We must demand justice for other colleagues who have been targeted for their work,” Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye said during a press conference in Mogadishu today “I thank the lawyers, SJS team and the journalists in general for their support.”

“We welcome the military court decision. The jail sentence is the beginning of the accountability for attacks against journalists in Somalia while the compensation is a form of reparation for the injured journalist and his family,” the Secretary-General of Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Abdalle Ahmed Mumin said “We call for the Somali police to open investigations into all attacks against journalists and to bring perpetrators, including the police officer who shot dead SBS TV cameraman, Abdirisak Qasim Iman, to the justice. I also urge my fellow journalists who have been victimised to come out and demand justice even if the perpetrators are powerful officials.”

“We, the Somali Media Association (SOMA) praise this court decision of ensuring justice for journalist Sharma’arke Abdinur Wehliye. This is a relief to all of us. We call for accountability for all other cases involving attacks against journalists and media professionals,” The Secretary-General of the Somali Media Association (SOMA), Mohamed Osman Makaran said.

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