Somalia: Hormuud Telecom asked to respect free expression
Somali Union journalists (SONUJ) has called on top leaders of Hormuud, country’s biggest telocommunication company to respect freedom of expression and refrain from attacks on media outlets.
In an online statement by SONUJ asked Hormuud authorities to alllow all media outlets to report all news stories from Somalia, amid worsening press freedom environment after Hormuud Telecom blocked Mareeg Online Network without warning.
The blockade made by Hormuud has shocked SONUJ and other Union Rights of Journalists across Somalia.
SONUJ and other press freedom groups in calling for the end of media repression in Somalia.
“We, the undersigned journalists and freedom of expression organisations, express to Hormuud and its administration our deepest concern at the worsening media freedom situation in regions of Somalia being used through the internet services shared by Hormuud Telecom”, SONUJ said.
Meanwhile, SONUJ welcomed the immediate lifting ban on Mareeg Online Network by Hormuud after days of blockade.
The blockade made by Hormuud is relating to an article published by Mareeg Online over blocked by it’s mobile services used by customers are listened by Al Qaeda inspired group of Al Shabaab.
Warsame, a cheif editor at Mareeg Online Newtork said the blackade came after editors refused to be siding with Hormuud Telecom based in Somali capital Mogadishu.
He says its news agency had also been attempted to be hacked over the latest published news stories.
Mareeg Online Network website in English could not be accessed since earlier this month.
He accused Hormud Telecom of taking that action without warning and shows an extraordinary attempt to stifle free media.
The move by Hormuud is described as a complete violation which contravenes the basic granted freedoms, according to Somali Union rights of Journalists.
The rights group urged Hormuud authorities to uphold freedom for the media to report the main stories taking place in Somalia.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media workers, 59 journalists have been killed since 1992, soon after a civil war began in the Horn of Africa nation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
It’s not entirely clear who has been killing journalists, but, Al-Shabab rebels, warlords, criminals, and even government agents all could have reasons.
Somali journalists frequently receive threats. But police rarely investigate them or adequately protect reporters.
The deadliest country for journalists in 2015 was Syria, where 14 were killed, followed by France with nine, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Around the world, 72 journalists were killed in 2015 and 10 have been killed so far this year.