Somali Journalists mark Human Rights Day with call for more protection including executions

December 10, 2014

Somali News on 7 December reports on a meeting of the National Union of Somali Journalists ahead of the International Human Rights Day 2014 to highlight the violations against the Human Rights Defenders, especially the attacks against the press in Somalia including harassment, intimidation, unlawful or arbitrary arrest and detention. That thinking about the death penalty differs greatly in the world is shown by the satisfaction expressed about the death penalty meted out to the killer of a journalist.

The event attracted forty participants and was supported by the Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM).

The Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mohamed Ibrahim, in his opening remarks paid tribute to journalists and media workers killed in line of duty with latest casualties include Abdulkadir Ahmed Mayow, a correspondent for Somali Channel Television and Mohamed isxaq Barre, a cameraman for Kalsan TV and reporter for Star FM Radio, who were among 12 killed on December 5 on attack at a café in the town of Baidoa.

Mr. Ibrahim noted that across the country the journalists receive threats to life or are assassinated, because of their work or the information they disseminated with increased impunity. Its encouraging step that the Somali government executed last week the murderer of Photographer Sakariye Mohamed Mohamoud, who was killed in 2012 in Mogadishu, making the murder cases resolved to three out of 35 killed since 2012. The government has to do more [SIC] to break this cycle of impunity.

On the occasion of the human rights day, the union’s Secretary- General appealed to the Somali government to either bring them before a court of justice to all detained journalists or give their freedoms back, some of which are in prisons for more than three months.

Director of Taqwo women development organization, Mrs. Isha Hassan Osman, who spoke on the occasion of the human rights day urged the media to focus on the human rights violations specifically the gender based violence and praised the media workers for their role in defending human rights. She also appealed for all people in jails without proper trail, to have access to justice.

The Director of the State Media, Abdirahman Yusuf reiterated the human rights day has especial significance to the journalists who are the main human rights defenders, who do not regard themselves as human rights defenders or somehow marginalized in the society of human rights defenders and raised the need the journalists to be involved in such activities.

“If you listen today a radio or television, 70% of the news are about human rights.” said Abdirahman Yusuf, “For instance, reporting droughts, suffering people without shelters, etc all related to human rights reporting.”

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