Wednesday August 5, 2020
MOGADISHU (HOL) - A military court court in Mogadishu has quashed charges against a local radio journalist accused of murder and affiliation to the outlawed militant group Al-Shabaab.
The Court of First Instance acquitted Mohamed Abuuja the editor of Radio Higsi after witness lined up by the state declined knowledge of the journalist. Abuuja was arrested in February and had been in detention since then.
The prosecution said Monday they were charging Abuuja with murder, Al-Shabaab membership and treason.
However four of the witnesses said they did not know him while one said he was coerced to testify against the journalist. The sixth witness claimed to know Abuuja but casually.
Local and international pressure groups including Amnesty International have called for the release of Abuuja and charges dropped.
The release of the radio journalist comes barely a week after another journalist Abdiaziz Gurbiye was sentenced to six months for his reporting of the COVID19 pandemic. He has since been released after paying a fine.