MOGADISHU, Somalia, Thursday, 04 May 2023 –The Somali Media Association (SOMA) has concluded a well-planned symposium event marking the World Press Freedom Day – 3 May
2023 held on May 3, 2023 in Baidoa city, South West State of Somalia. Abdi Fatah Ali Yusuf, Minister of Information and Social Awareness of South West Regional State, members from the various sectors of the civil society, journalists and other honorable guest has attended the one- day symposium in observance of World Press Freedom Day – May 3, 2023.
The World Press Freedom Day, the 30 anniversaries since it was proclaimed in 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
The symposium event organized by SOMA and supported by IMS/FOJO has been started with a brief presentation on the World Press Freedom Day , and the vital role played by the Somalia journalists and media associations in advancing social development has been underlined.
In addition, it was explained that this year’ s selected theme – “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights” – sends out the clear message that, without this freedom, human rights cannot be guaranteed.
During the discussions, the journalists and the media practitioners expressed concern that they are constantly facing violations including murder, detention, beatings, injuries, harassment, raids, temporary closures, damage to properties and direct threats of their lives.
In most cases, these violations are subjected with the media and journalists as retaliations related to their journalistic reporting.
In his opening remarks, Hilal Sheikh Shuceyb, Chairman of the Somalia Media Association (SOMA) has congratulated the Somali Journalists for celebrating the significance of the World Press Freedom Day.
Abdi Fatah Ali Yusuf, Minister of Information and Social Awareness of South West Regional State pointed out his pleasure to be attending the commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day event and thanked the Somali Journalists.
Some of the journalists speaking about the World Press Freedom at the event has congratulated their colleagues in the profession globally and specially in Somalia for signifying the event.
The World Press Freedom Day has been observed in the entire world, and Baidoa city has become one of the major cities observing the event.
In conclusion, the symposium has made valuable recommendations highlighting the need for the authorities to introduce effective judiciary system empowering press freedom that could be in position to support journalists when violations against them are committed, and to improve the role of the media to improve the rule of law, accountability and transparency.
On the other hand, Hilal Sheikh Shuceyb , Chairperson of SOMA and members from the media associations has held preliminary meeting with Abdi Fatah Ali Yusuf, the Minister of Information and Social Awareness and Lieutenant Colonel Amin Mohamed Darrow , Police Commander of Bay region and Hussein Keerow, Police Officer on the day before observing the World Press Freedom Day – 3 May 2023 to discuss how to reduce the challenges the journalists and the media operating in South West State are facing.