On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2022, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) takes the opportunity to draw attention to the perilous, inhuman and oppressive conditions in which journalists in Somalia continue to work.
From an oppressive legal framework; routine harassment by agents of the state especially the police, to targeted violence and killings, journalists in Somalia have not known peace for the past half century.
When a journalist is silenced, citizens – who also continue to bear the brunt of forced displacement and migration as they move to escape the crossfire – denied the freedom of information. Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia continues to be the most dangerous place for journalists in the country.
“We need a concerted effort by both domestic and international stakeholders to nurture and enforce peace and rule of law in Somalia, especially in southern and central regions where journalists continue to suffer unmitigated brutality at the hands of the different forces,” said NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.
Female journalists face a silent epidemic of despicable gender-based violence in a campaign of organized repression and intimidation. The rights of women journalists are subject to the worst forms of violation.
“While we have been lucky not to register any death of a journalist so far this year, the risk is ever present. Our union registered several cases of violent attacks on journalists this year. We therefore wish to put it on record that as a key-pillar in peace-building, the media and journalists need to work in a conducive and peaceful environment. Peace is a key element of a decent working environment” declared Osman.
“On this day in which the human community reflects on peace and the state of the human condition, we call for new investment in nurturing and enforcing peace in Somalia. Multiple tools should be deployed to ensure a safe and security working environment for journalists. It should also be supported to build the capacity for sustaining peace journalism in Somalia,” Osman asserted.