“The Legal case at the High Court of Kenya against Somali Media Support Organizations and Ministry of Information, is an attack against the country’s sovereignty” NUSOJ says.
Mogadishu, 20 February, 2016
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is surprised by the Case taken to the high Court of Kenya on 27 January, 2016 against two international Media Support organizations based in Somalia, while the Somalia’s ministry of information is part of the charges with the purpose of the court case is to demand the high court of Kenya to stop from these organizations supporting Somalia media and the Somali ministry of information.
The case was filed by Farah Mohamed Yusuf aka Farah Lamaane, an employee of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Somali service based in Nairobi and Omar Faruk Osman, whose lawyers Wafula Simiyu & Company claim that they (Farah Lamaane and Omar Faruk) legally represent Somali media and that these International institutions are carrying out media development projects in Somalia, which they are unaware and asked the Supreme Court of Kenya’s to stop these international institutions to stop the support they provide the Somalia media, specifically put on hold the Five year Somali Media Strategy – the outcome of a two day conference organized by Somali Ministry of Information of the Federal government with collaboration of Ministers from Federal member states held at Jazeera Palace in Mogadishu on 11-12 January 2016, and Supported by UNESCO, IMS/FOJO and UNSOM.The claimants further demanded the High Court of Kenya to halt the other projects these organizations currently working with other leading media organizations and partners in Somalia.
The institutions targeted are International Media Support (IMS) and FOJO Media Institute based in Denmark and Sweden who are supporting Somali Media Development projects and the implementation of five year Somali media strategy program. These organizations now provide direct support to Somali Media organizations such as the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA), Media Association for Puntland (MAP), the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ). In addition, they also provide direct support the organizations that represent media owners and directors such as SIMHA and Network 2013 representing approximately over 50 media institutions operating in Somalia. They also support the Centre for Human Rights in Somaliland.
Meanwhile, the case is pending against union’s Secretary General, Mohamed Ibrahim and presents very serious allegations against the Ministry of Information of Somalia in its role in facilitating these organizations to help the Somali media institutions mentioned above.
Legal experts in Somalia believe that this case filed at the high court of Kenya is a threat to sovereignty of the country and at the same time is an abuse to the Somali judiciary system.
“After 25 years, today Somalia has an international recognized Federal government with its legislative, Executive and Judiciary organs are fully operational. Therefore, there is no reason to open a Somali case in a foreign territory and thus wounds and dishonor the justice system Somalia, especially the Somalia Supreme Court and at the same time threatens the sovereignty of Somalia, as the case in other words shows that the country’s judiciary organizations are not trustable and non-existent, “said lawyer Mohamed Abdulkadir Muse.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) believes that such move backfires the media development in the country and further abolishes the interests of the journalist and the entire Somali media industry.
“NUSOJ has been striving to convince the international organizations supporting the Somali media to open offices in the country in order for their support to become effective, in an attempt to bring to end the that the support provided to the Somali media to be beneficial only to individuals “ said Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of NUSOJ. The secretary added that the essence of the case is to individuals planning to hijack the international support intended to help the Somali journalists b, which will never be impossible today.
• National Union of Somali Journalists calls for federal government of Somalia to stand firmly in defending the sovereignty of the country and protect the interests of the media industry and friends of Somalia media who travelled thousands of miles only to help and develop media environment.
• NUSOJ calls on the Somali judiciary to prevent anything that could damage the Somali justice system as this case is complete setback for the country’s judicial system or If this happens as it goes, they will certainly witness Somali civil cases opened in foreign countries.
• NUSOJ calls on the Somali media community to stand up in defense of the interests of Somali media and friends who came to Somalia to support the media industry.
• NUSOJ calls on the international community to unite in solidarity with friends Somalia media IMS/FOJO against this absolute cruel attack and investigate the international institutions financially supporting the attacks against IMS/FOJO, which is an attempt to bring to an end the support provided to the Somali Media community which is at development age, after more than two decades of chaos.
Finally, Somali journalists will continue to prevent any threats against the interests of the Somali journalists, as well as the defense the friends of Somalia media IMS/ FOJO and other international partners supporting the Somali media industry.
The struggle for justice will continue