National and Minnesota Report
On Saturday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN05) put out a press release about intimidations and suppression activities by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency against press entities in Somalia.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after Somalia labeled Voice of America journalist Harun Maruf a “threat” to security.
“In my work as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and as a Member of Congress, protecting the right to press freedom has been absolutely central to my policies and beliefs. Whether it is demanding accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, advocating for the release of imprisoned journalists, or insisting on the right of the press to cover domestic issues without intimidation here at home, I make no exceptions in my view that a free press is fundamental to an open, democratic society.
“The ongoing intimidation campaign by Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency against Harun Maruf is deeply disturbing. These attacks, along with the April 14 arrest of Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye for his work covering the impacts of COVID-19 in Somalia, are an unacceptable violation of basic human rights.
“The Somali central government has made crucial strides towards openness and the genuine protection of rights in the last several years, and I have been a staunch advocate for debt relief and other measures to help continue this progress. The increasing harassment, intimidation, and arrest of journalists including Harun and Abdiaziz threaten that progress, and I call on the Somali government to immediately cease these attacks on freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
You can read a Somali version of this statement below.
“Shaqadayda kamid ahaanshaha aqalka arrimaha dibadda ee xubnaha Xildhibaanadda, Ilaalinta xaquuqda iyo xorriyaddaa saxaafaddu waxay ka mid yihiin arrimaha aan siyaasad ahaan iyo sharci ahaanba u aaminsanahay. Haddii ay noqon lahayd in caddaalad loo helo dilkii Jamal Khashoggi, uqareemidda in xabsiyada laga sii daayo suxufiyiinta xabsiyadda ku jira amaba dhawrista xaquuqda jiritaanka saxaafadda madaxa banaan inay ka hadlaan arrimaha gudaha wadankan si aan cabsi lahayn, Kamana reebana aragtidayda ku aadan in saxaafadda xorta ahi ay aasaas u tahay umad leh qaab demoqoraadi ah.
“Hanjabaadaha joogtada ah ee hayada Nabadsugidda Soomaaliya ay kula kacday wariye Harun Macruf waa wax aan aad uga calool xumaaday. Ladagaalankaan oo ay kamid ahayd tii lagu xiray Iyana 14kii bisha afaraad Abdiaziz Ahmed Gudbiye asagoo kasoo waramaya cudurka caabuqa ee COVID-19 ee Soomaaliya maahan arrin la aqbali karo, waana xadgudub xaqqda bini’aadanka ah.
“Dawladda dhexe ee Soomaaliya waxay qayb ka ahayd is hortaaga xaquuqahaas iyo xadgudyadda lagula kaco saxaafadda sanaddihii lasoo dhaafay. Waxaan si joogtay isu garab istaagay sidii daymaha looga cafin lahaa Soomaaliya si loogu tilaabsado horumar waara. Waxaase sii kordhayay caga juglaynta, cabsigalinta, iyo xariga saxufiyiinta ay ka midyihiin Harun iyo Abdiaziz ayaa wuxuu kamid yahay dib u dhaca saxaafadda.”