HARGEISA, 23 March 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Dr. Jama Muse Jama, a Somalilander and PHD holder who currently lives in Italy has been shortlisted for the 2010 awards of freedom of expression.
According to Index on Censorship, Britain’s leading organisation promoting freedom of expression, the honor is for those who often at great personal risk, have given voice to issues and stories from around the globe that would otherwise have passed unnoticed. This award is given to a publisher who has given new insight into issues or events, or shown a perspective not often acknowledged, or given a platform to new voices
This year, for the first time, Dr. Jama comes into the short list as one of the awards most effective candidate from around the globe. He was selected along with other activists from Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, UK and others.
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Dr Jama Musse Jama is a Somaliland activist, author, publisher and founder/organiser of Hargeisa International Book Fair. In 2009, Jama published Weerane (The Mourning Tree), biography of Mohamed Barud Ali, one of a group of political activists known internationally as the Hargeisa Self-Help Group, who were imprisoned under the late dictator Siyad Barre. Jama is editor of www.redsea-online.com, the only forum dedicated to the exchange of views on Somaliland culture and literature in both English and Somali languages. The site also acts as online library and bookstore.
Jama wrote and published Somali Writers’ Association 2008 book of the year, Freedom is Not Free, which explains to ordinary citizens the significance of Article 32 of the Somaliland constitution, which “guarantees the fundamental right of freedom of expression and makes unlawful all acts to subjugate the press and the media”. The book is part of a wider campaign in conjunction with Somaliland human rights groups for freedom of expression.