Statement of H.E. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow), the Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Somalia
Mogadishu, 14 September 2017
I welcome with approval the Amsterdam court’s ruling of dismissing Mr. Dahir Alasow; a Somali national residing at the Netherlands writ of Summons.
The Court in dismissing the writ of Summons recognized that Mr Abdirahman Omar Osman may address Mr Dahir Alasow’s extortionist practices in light of the evidence against him. The Court further ordered Dahir Alasow to pay Mr Osman EUR 1,699 as compensation for costs of the proceedings.
Extortion is illegal and is punishable under our Law. It is distasteful that these illegal actions are done by a journalist who has the huge responsibility of informing the general public. Therefore, for a such an individual to extort individuals in the name of a good story, it goes against the law and ethics that are expected of journalists and media generally.
It should always be remembered that rights and freedoms comes with responsibilities and limitation and therefore any breach of these rights should be met with the full force of the law.
I therefore applaud the Dutch Court for recognizing that I may address Mr. Alasow’s extortionist practices in light of the evidence against him.
As a promoter of freedom of expression and free press there are limits as to the lengths a journalist should go to in search of a story. My Ministry has in the spirit of promotion of free press and in consultation with the stakeholders made significant changes to the current Media Law, which now awaits parliament debate and approval. As we take these tremendous strides towards a free press, let it be noted that we are all subject to our constitution and that as it gives rights and freedoms, it also sets limits as to enjoyment of those rights.
Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism