Mogadishu, Somalia, 24 July 2022: With the support of IMS/FOJO, the Somali Media Association (SOMA) has organized and conducted on Sunday, July 24, 2022 one-day high level symposium for the media stakeholders including media associations and civil society organizations (CSO) to advocate for guidance towards review of the media law.
The symposium held at Hotel Afirk in Mogadishu has been participated by Directors of various media outlets including radio stations, TVs, websites, Hamar Press Newspapers, CSO, Lawyers, Freelancers and Senior Media consultants and the Director General of the Ministry of Information.
The main purpose of convening the symposium was to increase the awareness of the media stakeholders for the need to review the media law and to lobby the media law review with the newly established parliament.
“We are intending to conduct debate and discussion on how to encourage review of the media law, there are concerns on the media law sector, which are constraints against the media and it’s independence. There is need to review the media law with cooperation of lawyers, primarily with the Somali Parliamentarians since when amending laws is presented at the Parliament for review where there are public concerns and complaints” Mohamed Osman Makaran , Secretary General of SOMA stated in his opening statement.
Abdullahi Hayir, the Director General of the Ministry of Information said he is pleased to attend in this symposium discussing and debate on the media law number 26 issued on July 30, 2020, approved by to two councils and signed by the previous President into law with Presidential decree.
“The Ministry of Information is well receiving the concern you have with the media law.” He stated. “There is need to maintain holding this type of symposiums and jointly work on how to change the articles of concern in the media law, and to submit in written form for further amendment.” Abdullahi Hayir, the DG of the Ministry of Information has added.
Mohamed Adde , senior media trainer has pointed out the media law should have equal impact on both the independent media and the public media and the media should protect the press freedom.
“There is need to continue the media law to be analyzed and amend the articles of concern. The media Farah Omar Nur, Secretary General of the Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ) said.
Abdalla Mu’min from the Somali Syndicate for Journalists (SJS) pointed out the no law could be enforced if the concerned people are not satisfied with it, and said that is why we were seeking for its review since 2019.
During the symposium, discussion and debate was made on the presented concerned articles in the Somali Media Law including Interpretation of who is a Journalist has been provided under two contradictory articles ( 1 and 34)
• Article 1- Journalist: is any person who has the knowledge of journalism, engages in the practice of journalism and is authorized to operate
Article 34.1- Any person with an expertise of journalism university decree, journalism .