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Why Journalists Are Not Safe Reporting from Puntland and Somaliland ?
By Ahmed Abdi
Reporting from Somaliland and Puntland is getting more and more dangerous because guys on power have misunderstood the truer role of the media today.
Media coverage helps people for many directions including the prevention of famine and diseases ,promotes the awareness of economic,health care and quality education ,enhances social integration, and connects the region to the globe-because of the number of media options is large, and therefor offers us many opportunities-from whatever role and to whatever audience we are communicating, and the media shapes the democracy.
Covering the reports of political interference and corruption that elected and unelected officials do is not crime,but helps any society to maintain cleanliness and good consciousness. So, when you ,an official, is caught on involving in such kind of action ,and media detects or reports it, that does not necessarily mean being your bitter enemy, but your sincere assistance.Prophet Muhammed said: "Help your brother, if he is an oppressor or the oppressed."
Unfortunately, over the last few months Somali media have been a legitimate these two administration's target. these part of the World individual thought ,media like writers,camera people and interviewing broadcasters can be targeted simple because they cover what these administrations don't like to hear or makes them unhappy.
Therefore, you either leaning on the guys on power and receive directions from them or you put yourself at risk by rejecting their call and reporting how things truly are.
Reporting from Somaliland and Puntland is getting more and more dangerous because guys on power have realized the role that the media gets a lot of play today with new technologies for communicating emerging seemingly every day.And the only thing they can challenge with the media is to intimidate,arrest, and detain journalists and reporters.
On Thursday ,About 1:00 AM, August 6, 2014, Puntland police force stormed Sharqia hotel in Garowe and arrested three journalists: Khadra Degan, Abdinasir Da'ad and Fatima Ahmed Mohamed .Two of those arrested were detained briefly, then released but Fatumo Yusuf saed (Tahadar) of Radio Daljir remained in custody. On Tuesday, saed spoke with the VOA Somali service about the brief takeover of the state-run television station's offices by local militias,and her arrest is believed to be connected with that.This is the latest in a string of violence against journalists in Somalia. The Secretary General of national Union of Somali Journalists's Mohammed Ibrahim condemned the arrest and called for her unconditional release. Mr. Ibrahim said: "It is disappointing to see that journalists are being jailed for their reporting."
"We call for the Puntland authorities the unconditional release of the female journalist and respect to the media freedoms in the region."
While terrorizing the media is underway in Puntland ,its neighbor administration , Somaliland does the same.
On 27 July, Somaliland administration arrested Baligudable Online Media editor ,Ahmed Adan Robleh in Hargeisa, on charges of spreading false information about the President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo's health. On April, Somaliland Police raided the offices of Haatuf Media Network citing a court order and indefinitely suspended Haatuf and the Somaliland Times,following an order from the Hargeisa regional court.Following a complaint filed by Minister of mining ,Energy & Water resources of Somaliland, Hussein Abdi Dualeh, about enormous publications of alleged corruption and mishandling of finances with the ministry.
Defenders of Journalists including Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, National Union of Somali Journalists and Somaliland Journalists association,Association Somali Journalists all of them raise concerns about the Somaliland's policy towards freedom of the press.