Washington, D.C., January 16, 2018: Under pressure from Schulman Bhattacharya, A2 Hosting, Inc., the Michigan-based company hosting the website for Radio Dalsan in Mogadishu, Somalia, agreed to remove a series of demonstrably false and defamatory articles about the law firm’s client, Omar Faruk Osman. Mr. Osman is a leading member of civil society in Somalia and is an outspoken advocate for the rights of Somali journalists and other workers. Mr. Osman is the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and Secretary General of the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU). In the defamatory articles masquerading as news, Radio Dalsan infringed NUSOJ trademarks and falsely accused Mr. Osman and other Somali union leaders of misappropriating funds contributed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for victims of the October 14, 2017 terrorist attack in Mogadishu. This baseless allegation was explicitly refuted by the IFJ itself, but Radio Dalsan, undeterred by the true facts, persisted in publishing its false claims at the web address http://radiodalsan.com/en/ex-nusoj-boss-omar-farouk-bbcs-farah-lamanemisappropriated-funds-victims-of-oct-14-bomb-claim/. When the law firm presented A2 Hosting with the actual facts and demonstrated that swift legal action would be taken if the offending piece remained in the public domain, A2 Hosting agreed to remove the article. This action by A2 Hosting follows similar decisions by Twitter, Allafrica.com, and madmimi.com, all of which have recently blocked efforts to infringe NUSOJ trademarks and/or to disseminate Radio Dalsan’s defamatory pieces directed against Mr. Osman and other union leaders.
Jeremy W. Schulman, Managing Member of Schulman Bhattacharya, stated: “We are pleased that A2 Hosting and the other internet service providers have done the right thing and removed the obviously defamatory and trademark infringing hit pieces directed against Mr. Osman and his fellow journalists and union leaders. We have great respect for freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the rights of workers, and we are proud to be representing the National Union of Somali Journalists and the Federation of Somali Trade Unions in support of these important values. While Radio Dalsan and others are free to criticize and express their opinions of our clients, we will not allow anyone to manufacture facts and work to destroy our clients’ reputations with false information.”
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