Garowe, Puntland: The Media Association of Puntland (MAP) denounces the physical-attack and life threatening call’’ in the direction of Horseedmedia editor, Omar Said Mohamed. MAP has notified the Puntland-law-enforcement officers including the Puntland Police commissioner on the case, while stressing the sensitivity of the matter, MAP demanded from the officials for immediate action/steps in guaranteeing effective protection of journalist Omar Said Mohamed who has received life-threats.
‘’We reiterate that the state and every agency the draws its legitimacy from the Constitution has an obligation to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and fundamental freedoms in the constitution, including freedom and independence of the media’’, we have informed the Puntland Police and thus demand their guaranteed protection for Omar’’ Said the MAP chair Faisal.
Both acts of violence were the perpetration of two local-private-companies, exasperated by an investigative-article suggesting that the two local-private-companies were involved in a fraud-cycle in the course of the bidding process on Galkayo-Garowe road maintenance project. Galkayo-Garowe road maintenance venture is supported by the European Union (EU) and Germany under the implementation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The allegation was printed on the Horseedmedia of the 18 November 2016.
‘’If the companies disagree on the allegations this does not mean they are free to attack a journalist, their reaction must never be ‘’violence’’ – we are in a state were laws exist and accountable to any single person – non is above the law and they should go through a legal process’’ said the MAP chair.
However, GIZofficial Christoph Schmidt in a Press-conference held on the 20 November repudiated the fraud-allegation in the bidding process, adding that GIZ will bring in independent international audits to further investigate the allegations. MAP, apart from informing the Puntland law enforcement officials on the incident, the Journalist syndicate keeps an eye on the outcomes of the GIZ’s international audit on the allegations.
On the 28th November, 2016, Omar, who authored the piece that suggested allegations of corruption on the bidding process of the Garowe-Galkayo corridor road Maintenance project – was assaulted and has received life-threatening phone calls, both incidents occurred in the same day according to Omar.
While reciting on the physical attack and life-threatening phone call, Omar mentioned; ‘’it was less than an hour difference between the two incidents; I was first attacked physically then few minutes later I received a call threatening to blow me up, I fear for my life!”, Said Horseedmedia editor.
MAP is stepping-up further preventive strategies in improving the safety of journalists in Puntland including that of Omar and will not tolerate at any cost the Puntland Media to be silenced, we welcome any kind of investigations towards the journalists reports but only if the legal process is applied.
The Media Association of Puntland would like to thank the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) alongside implementing partner Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for their concerted efforts in repairing and restoring the main transport routes of Somalia as well as developing a sustainable strategy for the maintenance of the road network in Somalia.
Horseed Media 2016