NUSOJ is concerned over the attempts to restrict independent media by refusing them access to cover elections for speaker and president.
For Immediate Press Release
Mogadishu : Thursday 15 December 2016.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) would like to express its grave concern and strongly condemns the attempt to restrict the independent media from covering the upcoming elections of Somalia Parliament Speakers both the Upper house and the House of people, their deputies and the President of Somalia.
With the permission of Somalia’s Internal Security and Information Ministries, former parliament secretariat has started to register a small number of preferred journalists who they want to cover the rest of Somalia election by ignoring most journalists from independent media.
NUSOJ believes that media acts as a crucial watchdog to democratic elections, safeguarding the transparency of the process. Indeed, a democratic election with no media freedom or with a stifled media freedom, would be a contradiction to the claim for free and fair use election.
Therefore, we call upon Somalia’s Information and Internal Security Ministries to ensure that Independent Media will have full access to cover the elections independently.
“We are so grateful to the Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT) for their provision of media accreditation cards to 102 local journalists for the elections of Upper House and House of People in regional states and the capital but unfortunately those accreditation cards now seem to have been invalidated by the ministries and will no longer be usable,” Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu General Secretary of National Union of Somali Journalists said on Thursday.
All 102 accredited journalists signed earlier the Code of Conduct of Somalia elections 2016, which stipulates fair, democratic, impartial and transparent reporting during elections.
NUSOJ Secretary General Mr Moalimu added that Somali citizens are eagerly awaiting to watch the election closely on the independent media more the state media in order to receive impartial and accurate news and information. The independent media is the biggest channel which can directly feed the Somali people all over the world with all the necessary information they need to know, therefore independent media shouldn’t be restricted during this crucial moment.
Finally, the National Union of Somali Journalists sends a clear message to all leaders of Somalia, that is if democracy is to succeed, press freedom and the safety and rights of all media workers must be upheld and as the guardians of freedom of expression their full rights must be given and protected.