The Somalia media stakeholders celebrated an event to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity Crimes against Journalists on Thursday 2 November 2017 which was held at the Conference Hall in the SYL Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.
The Somali media fraternities consisting of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Somali Media Association (SOMA), Somali Women Journalists (SWJ), Somali Independent Media Houses (SIMHA) and Media for Peace have jointly organized the event.
Present at the occasion were members from Parliament Information Committee, officials from the Ministry of Information of the Somali Federal Government, Ministries of Information of the Regional governments, Managers from the Media organizations, Directors, media experts and journalists and civil society organizations.
Ismail Sheikh Khalifa, Secretary General of SOMA in his opening remarks pointed out that 930 journalists were killed globally since 2016, and ten percent of the perpetrator was not brought to justice. Mr. Ismail mentioned the impunity day was designated to detain the offender when journalists are assassinated.
“Since 1992, more than 67 Somali and foreign journalists were killed in Somalia, whereby most of those responsible were not brought to court.” Ismail said.
Farhia Mohamed Kheyre, Chairwoman of SWJ speaking at the event said most managers do not encourage the Somali journalists, and have the assumption that journalists are only performing their daily works. “The Journalists’ level of education are not valued and respected as well.” She pointed out.
Mr. Mahir Jama Adan, Chairman of NUSOJ indicated that most of the Somali community rumor about journalists are less educated, which is not accurate saying, “ Only journalists are not experiencing less education, however, every profession is observed to be less educated.”
Furthermore, Mr. Mahir has appealed to the Somali Federal Government to give priority to the safety of the journalists and independence, and have pointed out that the Somali journalists are working in a risky situation.
Ugas Hassan Abdi Mohamed, Minister of Information of the South West Regional Authority said no Journalist has been detained in South West State since his appointment, and that is as result of close cooperation with the media in the region.
Mahad Hassan Osman, Minister of Information of the Hirshabelle Regional Administration has indicated that journalists are in the region is working in a difficult situation, and are always supported.
Mr. Khalid Mao, MP and Chairman of the Parliament Information Committee in his closing remarks for the event pointed out the importance remembering those journalists killed in line of their duties and present their history at this occasions. He concluded with mentioning that the Media Law is in the process of revising to produce a media law under which all the media organizations are united saying we are always listening to the various views.
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.
Members of the two Houses of Parliament, senior advisor of the Ministry of Information and Tourism of the Federal Government of Somalia, Information Ministers of all five Regional States, Leaders of an Independent Media organizations, Journalists, Lawyers and Civil Society Members attended the celebration of the day
For the third year in a row, Somalia has ranked as one of the world’s leading countries where perpetrators behind the murder of journalists go unpunished.
Over the past decade, all 26 assassinations of journalists in the East African nation have gone unsolved, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which released its annual impunity index, titled “Getting Away With Murder,” on Tuesday.
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu Secretary General of National Union of Somali Journalists called upon the Federal government of Somalia and regional states to ensure a swift and thorough investigation every time a journalist is killed and to all parties for stronger cooperation to enhance the safety of journalists”
He said celebrating the day annually is important as it raises awareness on safety of journalists and enlist the support of a wide range of actors including security agencies, the judiciary and other institutions to stop impunity against journalists.
More than 100 guests from all parts of the community including victims of various crimes against journalists attended the Mogadishu commemoration. Family members of victim journalists also addressed the injustice they are suffering continuously. This year commemoration of the day adopted an action plan to fight impunity.