By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Police in Hargeisa have seized the offices of Hatuuf Media Group through orders from the regional court in the Somaliland capital city.
The court order indicated that that the newspaper has been proscribed for publishing false and malicious reports about senior government personnel thence police are currently in total control of all the facilities of the Hatuuf media group literally translating that tomorrow’s edition shall not hit the streets.
According to the Editor of the Somali language version of the paper Ahmed Ali Egge police led by the Hargeisa western area Commander Mohamed Mahmud arrived at the Hatuuf compound where staff were busily preparing tomorrow’s edition and after showing us the court order evicted all the civilians from the papers buildings.
Hatuuf joins Hubaal to become the second newspaper to have its entire operations closed down by the state and see its facilities under the control of police 24/7.
Though reasons behind seizure and subsequent proscription are apparently similar Hatuuf has in the recent past been consistent in its attacks against the minister of Energy and minerals Eng Hussein Abdi Duale whom the paper continually accuses of misappropriating public funds but without providing a shade of evidence.
In the papers edition of today 7th April the Hatuuf Somali language edition had as its main story an article informing that the energy minister corruptly pocket $20,000 contributed by the Government in hargeisa from its central coffers towards the hosting of the government delegation that attended the historic motion in the United Kingdom that ensued with Sheffield city Council unanimous recognition of the Sovereignty of Somaliland.
Another example of the malicious attack on the energy minister was an article again main one, posted by Somaliland times the English version of Hatuuf purporting that a foreign company contracted to prospect for oil in Somaliland was suing the same ministe4r in the US for breach of contract.
While these examples are just a tip of the iceberg and without either condemning the media or supporting the energy minister, journalistic ethics dictate that information for public consumption must not be sensational but factual thus provision of evidence or facts pertaining to any allegations against any person or organization not to mention the other must of confirmation from the accused.
This said and done we in the country are now bracing for the usual condemnations from the without relevant information Committee to protect Journalist-CPJ and International Federal of Journalists-IFJ which collect their material for attacking the Somaliland authorities from the Somalia based National Union of Somali Journalists-NUSOJ rather than the country’s media organization of Somaliland Journalists Association-SOLJA
Due to the poor image for Somaliland that emanates from regular confrontations between the state and fourth estate it is imperative that the government enforces and local scribes implement the country’s media law #27/2004 as per stipulations as the foreign entities without any membership in Somaliland keep mum thus facilitate somalilanders solving their own differences in their own ways.