The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) highly welcomes the statement issued by the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee on the state of media freedom in Somalia.
NUSOJ has made submission to the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee in which the union explained to members of European Parliament about the attacks against journalists in Somalia, including criminal charges, as well as the positive developments that need to be capitalised for the defence of media rights.
“This is very important and timely statement which highlights the urgency to protect media freedom and journalists’ rights. It is a strong stance for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression in a very precarious environment,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
The Statement by Maria Arena, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, on the continuous attacks on journalists and restrictions on media freedom in Somalia:
“I pay tribute to Somali journalists who risk their lives in the fight to freely exercise their profession and defend media freedom. The murder of journalist Said Yusuf Ali, reporter for Kalsan TV, on 4 May 2020 in Mogadishu, has shocked the whole community of journalists in the country. I call on the Somali government to carry out a prompt, impartial, independent and thorough investigation into this heinous crime to bring those responsible to justice.
I welcome the recent announcement by the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, on reforming Somalia’s Penal Code of 1964, which has been used frequently to repress journalists expressing critical views.
This reform would be an important step forward in protecting journalists, who, together with the citizens of Somalia, are eager to exercise their fundamental right to freedom of expression without fear of reprisals or criminal persecution.
I expect the Somali authorities to follow the President’s announcement by dropping the criminal charges levelled against Mukhtar Mohamed Atosh of Voice of America (VOA) and Abdiasis Ahmed Gurbiye of Goobjoog Media Group, who were released on bail but are facing criminal charges.
I also urge the Somaliland authorities to immediately and unconditionally release detained journalist Abdimalik Musse Oldon who was charged with spreading anti-national propaganda and disseminating false news.”