The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) hereby responds to the recent statement issued by Mr Abdirahman Omar Osman Yarisow, the unqualified Minister of Information in the Somali government.
Yarisow lowers himself by maliciously attacking the leadership of the union as “childish” and engaging in “shameless falsehoods.” Yarisow is a desperate, rogue and embattled Minister who is trying to resurrect himself from an embarrassment he is facing.
Indeed, Yarisow is himself an infamous human rights abuser. He has come out after he has been hiding behind malicious elements for all these months and weeks to attack the union. He could not hide himself anymore. Now the general public and those who had not been in the know must know that it is none other than rogue Minister of Information Abdirahman Omar Osman Yarisow who is the only Minister who has been holding a cruel vendetta against the trade union and its leadership.
Yarisow’s statement is entirely false and misleading, repeating old baseless accusations that he himself concocted more than five years ago. These accusations were baseless then and they remain baseless and discredited today. There is not a single shred of evidence to back up Yarisow’s rantings and ravings, which he propagates with extreme malice in order to undermine the duly elected leadership of the union, especially NUSOJ Secretary General comrade Omar Faruk Osman.
As the only Minister in the Somali government who is facing serious allegations of rape and abuse of power based on sexual harassment of vulnerable women, and as the only Somali Minister who is currently being prosecuted in a western established judiciary, Yarisow is known to be one who exploits and oppresses media workers, just as he did when he was director of the now defunct Radio Bar Kulan. His dark and sinister history extends to developing draconian laws to suffocate media freedom and he stands accused of extorting bribes and favours from an energy company that resulted in him being sacked from a prior government post.
Claiming to be a professional engineer, ironically Yarisow is known to be the one who shamelessly engineers fake trade unions, having earned the grade of being the most anti-trade union public official.
Yarisow is single-handedly responsible for the Somali government having been found liable for committing grave human rights violations against journalists, union members and NUSOJ, as confirmed a few months ago by the UN’s International Labour Organisation. As the most insincere and dishonest member in the current cabinet, Yarisow is a liability to the government, regularly causes the government to be condemned and falsely misguides his senior officials to disobey the government’s international human rights obligations.
Obviously, such a rogue Minister who is involved in these abuses and unethical acts and has this oppressive nature does not have a moral campus and credibility to speak to those he has been abusing – journalists and their union.
NUSOJ understands that the top leaders of the Somali government did not approve or sanction the unacceptable actions of rogue Minister Yarisow, and categorically states that the union is not antagonistic to the federal government as whole. The abuses and anti-union activities start with Yarisow and end with Yarisow.
Now that Yarisow has come out in the open, the union will intensify its campaign to end his clandestine and unhidden oppressive actions to ensure journalists of this country fully enjoy freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly.
NUSOJ is a fighting trade union of journalists, defending media freedom and journalists without fear or favour. The union proudly enjoys the undivided support from its member journalists, the world journalists body and international trade union movement who are its prime constituency of support, legitimacy and recognition. The union is proud to stand against the rogue Minister of Information and will do so tirelessly until he is properly removed from office.