Somaliland: Libelous Articles with Impunity Sickening

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EDITORIAL

Somalilandsun – No two, three or so THT issues enter circulation consecutively for over a decade before this column either touches on, revisits, decries, cautions or warns of the dirt envisaged in gutter press, especially as concerns slanderous, libelous, inauthentic, unverified, partisan or malicious articles, items or reports in both our electronic and print media industry.

In the same breath, we have in all our said articles, appealed and/or pleaded with the information department to be stern and vet some of the numerous so called “media houses”.

This we have been doing in the name of upholding etiquette and ethics hence dully standing by the ultimate prioritization of the basic rights of the freedom of press.

On the other hand, we would rather look at the other side of the wall in this issue, to help prop up good ethics.

While we sympathize with all ladies, gentlemen and/or institutions whose personal self-esteem, ego, integrity or names have been rampantly tarnished, we decry the parts they play to let the perpetration go unchecked.

In other words we call upon all hurt by distorted or tailored ill-motivated reports to emulate the aviation minister who once decided to take to court what he felt a libelous article.

It is true as an adage say that “one finger-nail can’t crash a louse” (Swahili) or another one going “one palm can’t clap both” (Arabic).

Factually as it is, the information department cannot act upon or delve into each and every libelous item in the media simply because most are civil litigations borne by affected entities (whether individual or collective persons or institutions).

In the number of times slanderous items are publicized we have witnessed as many rhetoric of seeking legal actions pledged.

So far, almost none of the threats have seen the day, which sadly, either ironically lend credence to the purported report issued or poetically fosters outright impunity.

The latest in question over our industry is the Eng. Hoorhoor highly slanderous allegation which infringes upon his personal and individual rights, collectively those of the 58 MPs, and by extension the government and people of SL who own the parliament and the ports authority are seriously harmed- read Somaliland.

For the sake of upholding basic human and associated rights envisaged in overall constitution, the 58 MPs would do a serious disservice to the people of SL if they do not take their 8 anti-roads levy motion colleagues to court as they have promised.

Similarly, if Eng. Hoorhoor would seek redress in a court of law, he would do a major service to the media industry. Doing the opposite would by extension be vice-versa hence countermanding the aspiration the THT has steadfastly fought for over the past decade. They should not allow this perpetration of individual or group rights infringement to go on unhindered.

It goes without say that such culture of misreporting, dis-informing or distorting issues has been embedded so much that it is sickening just as it is disgusting.

Worse of all is creating malice hence slander to seriously harm an individual’s or institutional right that perpetually goes unchecked.

The writer M.A.Egge is the editor of The Horn Tribune a weekly English newspaper published in Hargeisa by the state owned Dawan Media group

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