The consultative meeting attended by local Somali media organizations, civil society groups, media professionals and lawyers was focused on creating a platform of media professionals to contribute the ongoing media bill in a professional, accurate and comprehensive manner and Identify the absolute priorities of Somali media for the amendments, particularly the harsh articles they want to be changed.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) organized the one-day Media Law Consultative meeting which was held at Jazeera hotel in Mogadishu on 16 September 2017.
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) expressed in his opening remarks, that the meeting has a particular importance to the Somali media fraternities, and their intention is to appeal to the distinguished Somali parliament to seriously review and amend the clauses contradicting the international freedom of expression before officially passing the media law.
SOMA Secretary General Ismail Skiekh Khalifa pointed out that it is so important for media family to get the support from the civil society partners who are now united in finding a media law that can at least satisfy all sides and fully guarantee the freedom of Somali Media.
Demas Kiprono, a consultant from Article 19 “Global Campaign for Free Expression” who was among the facilitators of the meeting highlighted provisions that are in breach of standards of international freedom of expression, in particular, the regulations dealing with:
• Media registration,
, • Ethics of Journalism and qualifications,
• Exceptions to media freedom,
• The protection of confidential information,
• The accreditation of journalists,
“Finding an independent media is very important for a war-torn country like Somalia, so civil society organizations are working closely and supporting the media organizations” said Dr Mahad Mohamed Hassan.
Professor Mohamed Haji Ingiriis said at the closing ceremony that he fully appreciates the Somali media that have worked hard in the country and have shown great commitment for the Somali people to access the information they need”
NUSOJ President Mahir Jama Aden thanked the Free Press Unlimited for their support of the meeting and underlined that the meeting paves the way for the good progress that Somali journalists hope to achieve in the future.
After hours of discussion, the participants have come up with the full understanding of the provisions of the Somali Media Law and the clauses of particular concerns in the current media bill.
Finally, Media fraternities and members of Somali civil society who attended the one-day meeting appealed to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs of the Federal Government of Somalia, Mr. Abdirahman Hosh Jibril to abandon his unilateral attempts to undermine the intention of the Somali journalists to achieve proper amendment of media law and also stop the direct threats and intimidation against journalists and their leaders.