I, Dr. Said Mohamud, am an opposition leader of the Somali government and the president of the Somali People’s Party. I condemn the actions of the Somali government for silencing Mogadishu’s leading opposition media, Shabelle TV, Shabelle Radio, and Sky FM Radio. It is undemocratic to shut down these popular opposition media in Mogadishu. These media broadcasted unfavorable public opinion and concerns about the Somali government’s leadership failures.
On August 15th 2014, the Somali government ordered the closure of three leading opposition media and imprisoned its owner and his journalists. His security forces destroyed personal property and equipment of the opposition media and seized a lot of valuable property inside the media headquarters. The security forces stormed into the media headquarters without prior notice, a search or court warrant, nor told anybody the reason of the arrests. The Somali government authorized for them to be kept in detentions that are secret and not subject to court review, where cruel and unusual punishments are inflicted to them. In addition, the detainees lack access to counsel, humanitarian aid, sanitary conditions, and time with family and loved ones.
The Somali president will be in New York City this Monday, September 21, 2014. He is going to put a phony act together where he portrays himself as the new Somali democratic leader in front of the eyes of the United Nations. However, in his home country, he is nothing but a dictator! He does not believe in democracy and its principles such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, reasonable searches, seizures, and arrest warrant, and the right to a fair trial.
It is beyond democratic civility that the US provides considerable amount of aid to such a regime. US should not support a leader that practices such harsh, undemocratic practices to his citizens. I urge the US to place sanctions against the Somali president and his regime. The US should convey a clear message to the Somali president that his practices in his home country are not acceptable. The US should put conditions on the aid it supplies to the Somali government and have them comply with democratic principles.
The President of the Somali People’s Party disapproved the heinous, inhumane treatment to the Somali opposition journalists. Dr. Mohamud indicated that the Somali government leaders are doomed to failure if they continue such practices. Their allegations of fighting against inappropriate mobilizations are all pretexts to intimidate, persecute, prosecute, incarcerate, torture, and execute anti government political opponents and the free press journalists. The inhumane torture and covert assassinations of the political opponents of the Somali government are sinister agendas of an authoritarian leadership that fools itself in believing to have the absolute power to have their say without opposition.
Dr. Mohamud said “Those ruthless actions of the Somali government are unsupportive and indicate a clear message of poor leadership skills that violate the unalienable rights of its civil citizens. The corrupt Somali government officials raise eyebrows of utilizing totalitarian rules where the rights of personal property ownership and respect of universal human rights are continuously violated. The Somali government leaders are abusing their authority and misusing them as a tool of personal retaliations.”
Dr Mohamud requests from the US government to put pressure on the Somali President who is coming to New York City. We want that the US asks the Somali president to respect the rights of its citizens and the opposition media and its journalists. The US should request from the Somali president to free the opposition media owner and all the opposition journalists who were captured wrongfully. The Somali government should respect public opinion and the job of the journalists. The Somali government should compensate the damages incurred to the privately owned media corporations. Dr. Mohamud said “No society is free and safe without a free and independent media. Without an independent media, corrupt government officials can wreak havoc on human rights, individual liberties, and cripple an economy with unfettered corruption.”
Dr. Said Mohamud
President of the Somali People’s Party
Candidate of the Somali Presidential Election in 2012
Maine, United States of America