Trial for a British-Somali female journalist adjourned in Hargeisa


The hearing in the case against journalist Busharo Ali Mohamed (known as Bushaaro Baanday) was postponed by the Hargeisa court on Sunday, marking her eighth appearance before the Marodi Jeeh Court, according to the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS).

Busharo, a British-Somali journalist, was arrested on May 15, 2023, upon her return to Somaliland via the Ethiopian border.

Today, shortly after the hearing started, her legal team sought clarification regarding the charges presented by the Somaliland Prosecutor’s Office on June 20, 2023.

The charges against Busharo include “Disclosure of Information the Divulgation of Which Has Been Prohibited,” “Anti-National Activity of a Citizen Abroad,” and “Publication or Circulation of False, Exaggerated, or Tendencious News.” However, her lawyers argue that these charges lack clarity, as the prosecutor failed to present evidence supporting the allegations.

The SJS has highlighted that the prosecution has not provided a clear distinction between the charges against Busharo and those brought against other absent individuals.

Consequently, the court adjourned the case without setting a specific date for the next hearing.

Representative from the British Office in Hargeisa were present during the Sunday’s court hearing.

On Friday, SJS and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFK Human Rights) condemned the arbitrary arrest and detention of Busharo and called for her immediate and unconditional release by Somaliland authorities.

“Her ongoing detention is the latest in a series of unlawful and appalling actions against journalists by the Somaliland government,” they said.

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