Mogadishu Mayor Eng. Yarisow wins defamation, extortion case against Dahir Alosow
The Mogadishu Mayor Mr. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow) has won a landmark defamation case against Dahir Alasow, a Somalia Citizen living in Breda , Netherlands.
The Mayor had gone to court against Dahir Alasow, arguing that he was engaged in blackmail, extortion, malicious and defamatory publications targeted at him.
The Court of Appeal agreed that various Facebook posts, You Tube Videos and publications by Dahir Alasow which disparaged the Mr. Osman’s reputation were false
Mr Alosow had tried to overturn an earlier court ruling through an appeal but the High Court ruled that the various third party statements and publications submitted by Osman provided sufficient support for the accusation against Alasow of distortions practices.
Mr. Alasow was ordered to retract the offensive information by removing the Facebook posts, You Tube Videos and articles on his websites and also publish a public apology on those platforms categorically stating that he was wrong in defaming the name of the Mr. Osman.
Failure to do so, the court ruled, he would be liable to payment of a penalty of EUR 250 per day up to a maximum of EUR 250,000.
The Mayor welcomed the decision, arguing that it would put a break to the actions of individuals taking advantage of their audience to target businessmen and politicians and blackmail them with malicious falsehoods.
“Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed in our constitution but it comes with responsibilities. As journalists, being custodians of information for consumption by the members of the public, it should always be an obligation to ensure that the information relayed is accurate and factual”, said the Eng Yarisow.
He added “Significant strides have been made in this country in realising press freedom, I personally spearheaded such initiatives while I was the Minister of Information, Senior Advisor & Spokesperson of Somali Leaders and I continue to lend my support to such initiatives. However, when journalist engage in blackmail, defamation and extortion practices, they take us steps back”
The Mayor said the “The judgment had set a precedent as to the expected conduct while reporting, publishing and sharing information both in the country and outside the country”.
The Court of Appeal held that Alasow did not provide evidence of such serious accusations and ordered him to publicly rectify these accusations on a number of websites.
The rectification imposed on Alasow reads as follows:
“CORRECTION MR ABDIRAHMAN OMAR OSMAN
In multiple publications on this website I have deliberately associated Mr. Abdirahman Omar Osman with rape, impregnating of a Somali girl, murder and violence and fraud.
I do not have any evidence for the above mentioned allegations published on this website.
I therefore have been ordered by judgment of the judge in interlocutory proceedings of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal to correct my wrongful publications. Dahir Abdulle Alasow, Breda”