Somalia: In commemoration of the of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the Somali media fraternities jointly organized a big national event under the theme Stop attacking the media at the hall in Hotel SYL in to raise awareness on the importance of media freedom and remind the Federal government and Regional States of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression and access to information as enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as articles 18 and 32 of provisional constitution of Somalia.
Members of Parliament, the Minister of Information and Tourism of the Federal Government of Somalia, Information Minsters of of Federal Member States, Leaders of an Independent Media organizations,Journalists, Lawyers and Civil Society Members attended the celebration of the day.
Somalia is still ranked one of the world’s leading country where slain journalists’ deaths go unpunished.
Over the past decade, all 26 assassinations of journalists in the East African nation have gone unsolved, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which released its annual impunity index, titled “Getting Away With Murder,” on Tuesday.
National Union of Somali Journalists decumented the killing of four journalists since September 2017 .
. Abdullahi Osman Moallin – Juballand TV- The journalist injured in Beledweyne suicide attack on 10 Sept and dead for the injuries five days later in Mogadishu
. Ali Nur Siyad – Freelance Camera man and Abdullahi Osman Farah from Maandeeq radio were among many people killed in Mogadishu truck bombing on 14 October 2017.
. Jacfar Ali Mohamed (Daacad) –was working Dayah Radio in Afgoye and he died in an exchange fire between Alshabaab and African Union Peacekeepers (AMISOM).
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists who briefed media about the day called upon the Federal government of Somalia and regional states to ensure a swift and thorough investigation every time a journalist is killed and to all parties for stronger cooperation to enhance the safety of journalists”
He said celebrating the day annually is important as it raises awareness on safety of journalists and enlist the support of a wide range of actors including security agencies, the judiciary and other institutions to stop impunity against journalists.
“We should remember those who have been killed while working as a journalists and we must mourn for the brave sacrifices themselves for their people” Khalid Maow a Chairman of Media and Telecommunication Committee of Somali Parliament said .
Ismail Khalifa, the Secretary-General of SOMA, has spoken into detail the importance of this day called for an urgent change in the situation.
Abditahman Koronto a veteran journalist and senior office of Somalia’s Ministry of Information said ” It is unacceptable that violations against journalists continue with no impunity, the Federal Ministry of Information is committed to addressing journalists’ complaints”
More than 70 guests from all parts of Somalia media fraternities including SOMA, SIMHA, SWJ and Media For Peace and victims of various crimes against journalists attended the Mogadishu commemoration. Family members of victim journalists also addressed the injustice they are suffering continuously.
NUSOJ condemns the long jail sentence against veteran Somali journalist Mohamed Aweys Mudey in Ethiopia as “outrageous and unacceptable”. The journalist was sentenced to 27 years in prison in the last week of February 2014, under Ethiopia’s anti-terror bill. He did not have a lawyer or family member with him during his trial.
“We appeal the unconidtional release of Mr Mohamed Aweys Mudey whom we believe that he is innocent and has nothing to do with all the charges against his sentence” Mahir Jama Aden NUSOJ President said .
National Union of Somali Journalists, NUSOJ.