NUSOJ.ORG.SO: International Day to End Impunity commemorated across Somalia with a call to IFJ to recognize the democratically elected journalist leaders.Mogadishu, 2 November, 2016: Somali journalists, media employers, union representatives, trade Unionists have gathered at Peace Garden in the capital Mogadishu to mark the World Day to End crimes of impunity against the journalists in the midst of a year in which 3 media workers have been killed in Somalia and that no one of the culprits been brought to court.
The participants of the gathering organized together by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) and Somali Women Journalist (SWJ) condemned all the heinous murders against the journalists during the occasion of the International day to end Impunity. During the event, the gathering also focused on the general safety of the journalists as part of the journalist unions’ campaign in its fight against the continued impunity.
Arbitrary arrests, threats, intimidations, harassments and impunity are major concerns by the journalists. “we demand from the Federal government of Somalia to make practical commitment in guaranteeing the press freedom while stopping all other ongoing violations against the press” said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, NUSOJ Secretary General.
The concern has reached Presidential level, ahead of the Somalia election which is due to take place in November 30, 2016.On behalf of the Somali Journalists and media houses, Leaders of the organizations of the media led by National Union of Somali Journalists with the support of SIMHA and SWJ,requested that the Somali President, H.E. Hassan Sheik Mohamud appoints a body that investigates the crimes against the journalist.
The request was made during a presidential dinner with Somali journalists and other media stakeholders on 1st November 2016 at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. President Hassan Sheik Mohamud told Somali journalist at the dinner that he is also concerned and sent messages of condolences to the deceased journalists who were killed in Somalia while serving their people. He also called on the security agencies in Somali government to guarantee the safety of journalists.
“We have worked very hard to implement coordination mechanisms between security forces and media via the Ministry of Information and will do all we can to improve the partnership working between security and media outlets. The Ministry of Information has conducted trainings to build the capacity of our journalists and security forces and will continue this” Said Somali President. “Furthermore, I signed the Media Law into a decree and is to be implemented and we hope the country will soon have an independent and responsible Media Council that will regulate the media industry so that our country will become one of the countries around the globe to have a free media as enshrined in our provisional constitution. Article 18 says Every person has the right to have and express their opinions and to receive and impart their opinion, information and ideas in any way.” Added the President, Mohamud.
Talking to journalists gathered in Mogadishu peace garden, Chairman of Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) Hassan Ali Gesey said “We welcome our president’s pledge in ending the impunity, which we hope might provide the media workers to safe environment which they can practice their profession freely without fear of being killed” “This important gathering of the International Day to end impunity serves two important issues; to remember our fallen colleagues and to send a message to the criminals that they were not forgotten and those who killed them will be brought to justice once and for all” said Farhiya Mohamed Kheyre a chairperson of Somali Women Journalist (SWJ).
Somali Journalists also marched in the Peace Garden with white tea shirts, waving slogans ‘Stop violence against journalists’ ‘We demand from IFJ to recognize the NUSOJ’s legitimacy and democratically elected leaders’ “NUSOJ leadership is elected by the Somali journalists and not by the IFJ and others.