Somalia: Somaliland clan elder sentenced to one year for defamation
Jul 8, 2012 - 4:02:42 PM

HARGEISA, Somalia Jul 8 2012 (Garowe Online) – A Somaliland court sentenced clan elder Boqor Buur Madow to one year in jail for defamation of Somaliland’s political leaders, Radio Garowe reports.

Boqor Osman Aw Mohamud also known as Buur Madow was sentenced to one year in jail after the Somaliland court found him guilty of defamation based on the controversial Somaliland penal code that is based on the colonial Italian Somaliland penal code.

Buur Madow was charged with three offences which included public incitement and defamation. The clan elder was found guilty of defamation and sentenced according to article 268 which states that defamation of political leaders while in Somaliland is an offence.

However, Buur Madow’s lawyer argued that his client wasn’t in the country when he made the remarks about the Somaliland government that the court found him guilty of on Sunday.

 “My client was acquitted of two other charges but was convicted on another charge which was refuted by the defense,” said Barkhad Jama Aare after the decision by Osman Ibrahim Adan the Maroodi Jeh regional Judge.

Mr. Aare was disappointed by the one year sentence by Judge Adan who also refused Boqor Bur Madow the option of fines to reduce jail time.    

According to local sources in Hargeisa, many residents and organizations of Hargeisa including Human Rights groups showed up to hear the courts’ decision on Boqor Buur Madow who was very outspoken about the Somaliland government.

Boqor Buur Madow had been in jail for 4 months after Somaliland authorities accused the clan elder of defaming political leaders, he was arrested after arriving in Hargeisa airport in March.