SJS joins Mogadishu journalists in unity to defend press freedom against government interference and threats

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Tuesday May 14, 2024 - 11:10:09 in Articles by Xaaji Faysal
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    SJS joins Mogadishu journalists in unity to defend press freedom against government interference and threats

    The journalists' meeting supported previous statements issued by various

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The journalists' meeting supported previous statements issued by various



Today, the Mogadishu journalists, editors, and directors, joined by the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) concluded three-day consultations held in Mogadishu discussing the emergency requirement to safeguard independent media, freedom of speech, and the safety of journalists at risk in the country.

The meeting was also informed about the impending threats followingthe March 14 unilateral announcementto form Media Council created by the Ministry of Information to suppress free media.

The journalists’ meeting supported previous statements issued by various media organisations and unions, defenders of journalists, and civil society groups denouncing the illegal media council.

At the meeting’s conclusion, Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul, SJS Information and Human Rights Secretary, read a joint statement to the media highlighting the following points:

Journalists in Mogadishu reinforce the position of leaders in free media, unions of press freedom, and civil society organizations in their opposition against the so-called media council created by the Ministry of Information to intimidate and suppress free journalists. Senior leadership of the country, such as the Prime Minister, the Speakers of the Parliament, and the president, are urged to intervene in this matter.

Journalists in Mogadishu call on independent media leaders, unions, media advocacy organizations, and journalists to convene an urgent meeting to save the fate of free media, which is now in great danger. Failure to act swiftly may result in severe censorship, impacting free press and public access to independent information. This concern is particularly acute amidst the country’s current political turmoil, including controversy over the type of election to be held in 2026.

Therefore, to safeguard the fate of free media enshrined in the constitution as a fundamental human right, journalists in Mogadishu urge all journalists and media stakeholders to establish an independent media council that is inclusive and fair, inviting participation from all parties, including the government.

"In conclusion, the meeting announces the establishment of our own independent media council, which will be inclusive, fair, and free, representing all stakeholders. We invite the government itself to participate,” stated SJS Secretary of Information and Human Rights Mohamed Bulbul. "We inform government agencies, Federal Member States, journalists’ associations, civil society, and the international community that the Council established by the Ministry of Information on March 14 is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Ministry of Information and cannot represent the independent press.”


Journalists gather during the conclusion of the three-day consultation meeting in Mogadishu on Monday, May 13, 2024. | PHOTO/SJS.

Journalists gather during the conclusion of the three-day consultation meeting

Journalists gather during the conclusion of the three-day consultation meeting in Mogadishu on Monday, May 13, 2024. | PHOTO/SJS.

"It is irresponsible for a group of government employees selected by the Ministry of Information to form a media council. This demonstrates that the Somali government does not support independent media that can report facts to the people. The Ministry of Information suppresses us and targets journalists day and night, and we will not accept its actions,” added Mohamud Abdinasir Soofeysane, speaking on behalf of Mogadishu reporters.

SJS applauds the successful completion of the journalists’ meetings that convened in the past three days, as we support their struggle for full freedom and the general cause of press freedom and safety.

"SJS is proud to be part of these discussions in Mogadishu and fully supports journalists across the country. Despite ongoing threats, we praise their bravery in standing united for our shared cause. Somali journalists, including ourselves, deserve a country where we can operate freely and safely, without fear of violence,” said SJS Secretary-General Abdalle Mumin. "This is our right and it is our struggle. The struggle will continue as we persist in our advocacy efforts.”

AFEEF:

Hadhwanaagnews marnaba masuul kama aha Aragtida dadka kale. Qoraaga ayaa xumaanteeda, xushmadeeda iyo xilkeeda sida. waxa kaliya oo Hadhwanaagmedia dhiirigalinaysaa, isdhaafsiga aragtida, canaanta gacaliyo talo wadaagga!

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