Monday, 30 November 2009

CPJ embroiled in clan politics


Press Releases
Jul 18, 2009 - 10:51:40 PM

July 18, 2009

PRESS RELEASE | To CPJ, welcome to Somalia's dirty clan politics. You have lost neutrality and therefore our respect.

It is neither surprising nor shocking to see Somali websites engaged in dirty media campaigns motivated by clan politics or pure greed. However, it is quite disappointing to see a well-known international organization that claims to "protect" the rights of journalists worldwide take part of clan politics in Somalia.

This press release is in reference to a press release dated July 17, 2009, and issued by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) under the title, " Journalist beaten in Puntland courtroom."

It seems CPJ published the press release with utter disregard to the truth or the facts on the ground. However, monitors in New York City found it easy to pen a few words to gain international attention as "defenders" of press freedom in a poor African country.

Seeking the truth is part of defending the press. CPJ should have researched the facts on the ground before publishing such a disreputable piece of work simply based on the writings and comments of a single news organization with a hidden agenda desiring the return of petty cash it used to receive in the past. For starters, the sourced website is used by the sore losers who thrived in the corruption of yesteryear and are unsatisfied by genuine changes on the ground or the outcome of the 2009 democratic election in Puntland.

CPJ wrote: "In late June, Deputy Information Minister Abdishakur Mire Adan and the son of Puntland̢۪s president, Mohamed Abdirahman Farole, told Horseed Media to remove a May 11 article posted on their Web site, according to the editor-in-chief of Horseed Media, Mahad Mussa."

It is very unfortunate that CPJ was misled or is intentionally misleading the world when it simply describes Mr. Mohamed Abdirahman, an Australian citizen, only as "the son of Puntland's president." This is a fact and only God can change it. But what about the other fact: that Mr. Mohamed is the founder and executive director of Radio Garowe, an independent radio station in Puntland? Further, Mr. Mohamed remains the editor-in-chief of, one of Somalia's most well-known news portals. As such, Mr. Mohamed has been a well-known name on the Somali media scene years before his father, Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed "Farole," was elected the president of Puntland only six months ago.

It is worth mentioning that, as an independent journalist, Mr. Mohamed can interview anyone he deems newsworthy, including pirates. Garowe Online editors have welcomed international journalists to Puntland, including the New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman and the BBC's Andrew Harding, both of whom published investigative reporting on piracy in Puntland. It seems unbelievable that Mr. Mohamed would ask a small-time and relatively unknown website to "remove" an article when he is too busy with his professional career and family life.

To CPJ, welcome to Somalia's dirty clan politics. You have lost neutrality and therefore our respect. To the sore losers in Puntland politics, lies and filthy propaganda will not bring back the years of mismanagement that nearly destroyed Puntland. To Somali public, and particularly the people of Puntland, please search the facts, educate yourselves and know the truth.

The independent news website is the online sister publication of Radio Garowe, a community radio station based in Garowe, the State capital of Puntland, a self-governing region in northern Somalia.

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