We won�t cave in to intimidation

A few weeks ago, radical Islamic Jihadists stormed into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed eight journalists including four cartoonists. This week, a Twitter account of one of the leading French newspaper, Le Monde was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army – an organisation notorious for hacking western social media accounts. Several social media accounts and websites are hacked by people who abhor freedom of expression and the truth.

Back home, the situation is no different. The truth haters are at work. This time, they are not intimidating journalists with court action and phone call surveillance. They have added hacking our website to their stock in trade. For the last 10 days, hackers have been at it. First, they defaced our site, thus making it difficult for readers to access it. This week the hackers did not only deface the site. They took it down. This form of intimidation has meant that we have not been able to serve our online readers with news. Furthermore, we have lost 12 years of archives as a result of this cowardly attack. Efforts are however being made to recover lost information.

We have no doubt that this is a deliberate effort to intimidate the newspaper into submission by forces that hate the truth and scrutiny. It is clear that there are elements within our society that hate freedom of expression and of the press. To them, these freedoms should be severely limited. To them journalists, should be told what to write and what not to write. When journalists refuse to succumb to pressure, these intolerant people and organisations quickly resort to intimidation. They kill, they insult and hack websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Why us? Why is Mmegi the only target? It is strange that the hacking occurred at a time when we were running stories that did not portray people in power in good light. What a coincidence! Well, perhaps this a way of making sure that we don’t post some of these materials online? We wonder.

Editor's Comment
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