The Somaliland regional government lifted a publication ban on the newspaper Hubaal Sunday (August 18th) and granted a presidential pardon to the paper's manager and editor, Somalia's Garowe Online reported.
A Somaliland court convicted Manager Mohamed Ahmed Jama Aloley and editor Hassan Hussein Kefkef of reporting false news, slandering top Somaliland officials, and falsely accusing employees of the Ethiopian consulate of smuggling alcohol into the region on July 3rd. Aloley was given a one-year jail sentence and Kefkef a two-year sentence, and each was ordered to pay a 2-million shilling ($300) fine.
Regional President Ahmed Silanyo announced the pardon following a meeting with several top Somaliland government officials. "My government is ready to respect the freedom of speech but we have to together safeguard our interests," he said.
The Somaliland Journalists' Association (SOLJA) lauded the decision to release the two men.