Hargeisa(SD)-The Somaliland government has gone through a long process over the years to figure out ways and laws in sensoring the free press in Somaliland.
Those attempts by some of the media advocates and the legislatures were meant to find a comprehensive laws that is will govern the media in the country.
But instead of seeing through those efforts, the Somaliland government found it convenient it’s old ways of arresting and torturing those who dared to write about Corruption and other short commings.
More recently, the Somaliland government found a willing partner, it would seem, in muzzling the media by using the telecommunications companies to blindly enforce illicit demands for media shutdowns.
The individuals exposed, particularly high ranking officials target the outlets that report issues such as corruption.
A good example is the blocking of Hadhwanaag news by the Somaliland Central Bank governor Ali Ibrahim Baghdadi, as the website recently reported corruption allegations during his short tenure at that post.
Somaliland telecommunications companies are now imposing internet restrictions on the media, without legitimate court orders, specialy when a government official orders them.
The Somaliland government and powerfull indeviduals completely stopped utilizing the media law in the civil courts, now that telecommunications companies are willing culprits in stifling freedom of speech.
Journalists should bring similar anti-freedom of speech charges against the telecommunications companies that censor the media.
This notion to go after these companies is getting traction among media advocates, and is now prevalent throughout the Horn of Africa, one of the most restrictive and dangerous place in the world for journalist.
Telecommunications companies need to demand, from the Somaliland government to come up with legal evidence rather than just official’s directives, before they can shut down a website, companies should be required to recognize the freedom of the free press.
More importantly, the telecommunications companies should recognize their social responsibility and work with both parties in order to protect freedom of speech.
The public should demand this commitment from these telecommunications companies or face boycotts.
This is the only way societies can bringing about changes in the world these days.
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