National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and Associated Somali Journalists (ASOJ) have watched with concern the spate of power abuses by the Deputy Minister of Information of Somali Federal Government Mr Abdishakur Ali Mire.
The latest being an organization of security operatives by Deputy Minister of Information to intimidate and arrest journalists and their leaders in a bid to silence outspoken and critical journalists who came out to criticize obnoxious media law.
ASOJ and NUSOJ are dismayed that Mr Abdishakur Ali Mire did not only violate, dishonor and abandon the constitution of Somalia and national office he is holding but is laboring to deny lasting media freedom.
Deputy Minister of Information is reported to be working as a project agent for foreign institutions in a move to impel for foreign organizations interests and to degrade independent media of Somalia. Mr Abdishakur adapted to disgrace recurrently credible voices in Somali media in exchange of personal benefits from foreign entities.
One of the hallmarks of any emerging democracy in Somalia is respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law. Violation of this time-honored value by Mr Abdishakur Ali Mire constitutes not only a breach of trust, but also an invitation to anarchy and enmity between media community and government.
It is all the more worrying when this violation is done by a deputy Minister of the Federal government who ought not only to hold out himself as the protector of citizens rights, but a key ambassador of the new federal Administration.
The Deputy Minister is advised to stop playing self-seeking politics with media freedom and journalist rights, especially risked media workers that do not have the wherewithal or access to protection and slush funds from foreign organizations.
Rather than embark on a campaign of calumny against the media houses, journalist organisations and their leaders and a laborious attacks against the independent media, Somali journalists advise the deputy Minister to immediately toe the path of honour by recognising rights of journalists, discontinue undermining independent media, end dividing media and stop serving foreign agenda at expense of Somali journalists.
NUSOJ and ASOJ are saddened by the fact that for most of his tenure, Abdishakur Ali Mire has been embroiled in a fight against independent media instead of growing the media sector, and urge Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdoon Saaid to call the Deputy Minister of Information Mr Abdishakur Ali Mire to order before he does incalculable harm in the name of the government.