US News Somalia: Independent researchers accused of justice
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Several researchers and independent analysts are accused of spying by justice, while the country goes through a serious political crisis. According to a communiqué of the Regional Court of Banadir Region published Thursday, a judicial procedure will be launched this Saturday, April 17 against six employees of a respected consulting company, Sahan Research, based in Kenya. A procedure denounced as "purely political" by the accused.
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The manager and founder of Sahan Research, Matt Bryden, has yet been officially notified of nothing. No mail, no message from the Banadir region, where the Somali capital is located, Mogadishcio. He does not know the exact patterns of his challenge.
He and five collaborators, current or former, Somali or foreign, are nevertheless appointed by the Regional Court of Banadir. They are summoned to appear before a judge on May 29th. Officially, charges are the dissemination of "information on national security" and "espionage for the benefit of abroad", without further details.
Gold according to several sources, this judicial act would be mainly motivated by the recent publication, by Sahan Research, of an article calling for sanctions against the federal Presidency, for its role in the dangerous political crisis that the country crosses.
It has been several years since Sahan Research and its leaders are targeted by the Somali executive: Matt Bryden is not surprised. His compliance with international organizations do not spare the presidency and his allies. For him, it is therefore a "purely political" procedure and "additional evidence that this government does not support independent research".
The Somali researcher Rachid Abdi, who is one of the six convened, is more direct, on his Twitter account: "It would not bother me," he said, to defend myself before a neutral and decent tribunal, but Not in front of a political court set up to intimidate, harass and silence critics. »
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