The Somalia media Association (SOMA) held an event observing the International Day to End Impunity Crimes against Journalists on Friday 2 November 2018 which was held at Baladweyne City, Hiran region, Hirshabelle Regional State of Somalia.
In support of IMS/FOJO, the Somali media Association (SOMA) consisting of more than thirty two member media houses operational across Somalia from Banadir region and all the five regional states of Puntland, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, South West and Jubbaland in close coordination with Mr. Mohamed Osman Makaran, Chairperson of SOMA and Director of Radio Hiran Weyn has organized and conducted this year’s event on IDEI 2018 in Baladweyne City, Hiran region.
The Somali Media Association (SOMA) has conducted a panel discussion Forum aiming to focus on the International day to end impunity for crimes against journalists to highlight awareness raising on the significance of the issue globally and particularly in the context of Somalia.
The participants of the panel discussion Forum were members from the civil society organizations, the regional authorities, the police and the media.
Present at the occasion were officials from the authorities of Hiran regional state, media organizations, journalists, youth organizations, women groups and members form the civil society organizations.
Mohamed Osman Makaran,, Chairperson of SOMA in his opening speech pointed out that more than forty three journalists were killed globally in this year , and most of the perpetrator was not brought to justice.
Mr. Mkaraan mentioned the impunity day was designated to advocate and lobby for detaining the offender when journalists are assassinated and prosecuted.
The event has remembered the killing of three journalists in 2018 at various locations in Somalia and the circumstance each journalists has been murdered.
One of the three journalist assassinated in this year 2018 was Adbullahi Nur Hashi, working for radio Darusunna (Duruq Salifiya) who has been murdered at Elasha Biyaha, outside Mogadishu.
Reports indicated that the killing of Abdullahi Nur Hashi was connected with the Radio Darusunna (Duruq Salifiya) having ideology contrary with the viewpoint of Al Shabab movement and has been releasing news opposing their views. The reports added that management of Radio Darusunna (Duruq Salafiya) has declined to give comments related with such reports.
The other journalists murdered was Abdirisak Sa’id Osman with Radio of Peace in Galkacyo ,Puntland. The journalist who was newscaster and reporter has been stabbed to death in September 2018. No one has been detained following the brutal act although the police said at the timethey are investigating the case.
It was in July 2018 when Abdirisak Kasim Iman , the Somali TV cameraman was assassinated at checkpoint in Mogadishu and investigation into his case has not been immediately started.
Nevertheless, members of the Somali Mechanism for Safety of Journalists (SMSJ) had held meeting with the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in bid to campaign for launching investigation into the case without further delay, as result, the investigation into the case has been initiated.
The suspected police officer behind the killing of the journalist at checkpoint is on the run and is being wanted by the Somali police.
“The Somali Military Tribunal Court has given the police officer in absentia five years prison term and ruled payment of blood compensation to the family of the deceased.” The family of the deceased has revealed. The suspected police officer has been sentenced in absentia.
Furthermore, the panel discussion forum mainly focused on: highlighting the significance of remembering the international impunity day, appealing to the Federal Government of Somalia to give priority to the safety of the journalists and independence, the need to bring those committing crimes against journalists to justice , pointing out that the Somali journalists are still working in a risky and dangerous situation, and are in need of support and the need for the media law which is under the review process to be finalized for improving the safety and professional skills of the Somali media houses and journalist.
The panel discussion forum also echoed the significance of strengthening the efforts and cooperation of all the stakeholders in the media to end the impunity for crimes and attacks against the journalists.
With the support of IMS/FJO, the Somali Media Association – SOMA has been engaged to conducting five series of safety training workshops for the Somali journalists from the various sectors of the media houses in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo,, Adado and Galkacyo North of Puntalnd.
The training workshops was intended to improve the safety and protection of Somali journalists through raising their knowledge and awareness on the standard safety and protection procedures to follow and adopt for maintaining their personal safety and for the media.
The International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists event remembered annually on 2 November has been designated by the United Nation on 2013 following UNESCO recommendation to assign a special day to end impunity for crimes against journalists.