Sahan Researcher Matt Bryden Slapped 5yr Jail Term For ''Espionage'', Think Tank Banned In Somalia
A Mogadishu court on Tuesday sentenced Sahan Research and its director-general, Matt Bryden, to five years in prison. Banadir Regional Court Chairman Abdikhadar Mohamed Hassan read out the verdict and said Matt Bryden, currently living in Nairobi, Kenya, had been sentenced to five years in prison. The court also sentenced other foreigners who were among the founders of Sahan Research, all in absentia, and ordered investigators to arrest the suspects. "The court, in accordance with the Somali Penal Code, found defendant Matt Bryden under articles 215, paragraphs 1 and 328 of the Somali Penal Code, and sentenced him to five years in prison," said Chairman Abdikhadar Mohamed Hassan. He also said that the Benadir Regional Court had acquitted Rashid Abdi, Kheyre Abdirahman, Emmanuel Deiser, David Hopkins and another foreigner of the charges against them. The main allegations include providing national and military security information to Somalia, according to Sahan Research. He was also charged for espionage. The foreigners sentenced are based in Kenya and cover political and security issues in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, and are often accused of leaking sensitive information, which is not intended for the media according to the court. Sahan Research was suspended in December 2018 after the Farmajo administration deemed it a threat to security and governance in the country.