THT-After serving a year of a three prison term journalist Abdimalik Oldon has been released courtesy of a presidential pardon.
Oldon was among numerous other prisoners pardoned by the Somaliland head of state in what has been termed as a prison decongestion in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is the second of such a pardon by president Muse Bihi Abdi since outbreak of the virus a move which is part of spread prevention measures.
The arrest of Oldon a year ago and subsequent sentencing on charges related to social media posts critical to the president and his administration elicited local and international condemnations that saw the journalist acknowledge as a prisoner of conscience.
Amnesty International in April called for Oldon’s release following pardoning of over 500 prisoners to decongest prisons in light of COVID-19 spread. According to Amnesty Oldon’s arrest and sentencing was based on outdated laws aimed at curtailing freedom of expression. “The authorities are using repressive, vaguely worded and outdated criminal offences in the penal code to crackdown on the right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty said.
Oldon thanked President H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi for the pardon, also commended how duo Opposition leader Eng Faisal Ali and Abdirahman Irro worked his release. Oldon added past problems need to be forgotten, and for the sake of the nation be joined hands. His release has been welcomed all folks of the society.
By: Yusuf M. Hassan