The US Embassy in Somalia has defended VOA journalist Harun Maruf from allegations made by Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) which accused him of being a threat to the country’s national security.
“Maruf is a respected professional, a journalist at VOA News. He is one of the most influential Somali journalists. NISA’s attacks [against him] are a threat to freedom of expression and independence of the press which are fundamental for democracy and government accountability in Somalia,” the embassy said in a tweet.
Maruf, who also holds US citizenship, received overwhelming support from journalists, politicians and academics, who termed NISA’s move as a worrying censorship trend that has been growing in Somalia since President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo came to power three years ago.
Harun Maruf is a respected veteran journalist who regularly reports on Somalia and militant activities in the Horn of Africa region. He is the co-author of the book “Inside Al-Shabaab: The secret history of Al-Qaeda’s most powerful ally”.