Sunday, 21 July 2013

Somali Prime Minister calls for calm and declares “unshakeable” commitment to press freedom

His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon emphasized today the government's “shakeable” commitment to press freedom and advised against a rush to judgement before the Media Law was sent to parliament.

“There has been a good deal of overexcited reporting about the Media Law in recent days, much of it ill-informed,” the Prime Minister said. “The suggestion that it was going to require journalists to be aged 40 or over, for example, owes more to fantasy fiction than accurate reporting. We need calm discussion and sensible consultations and this is how we are proceeding with a series of consultations with all interested stakeholders.”

The Prime Minister stressed that the Council of Ministers had only approved the Media Law subject to amendments being made by the Minister of Information Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi. Once those were incorporated the draft legislation would then be sent to parliament for further debate and consultation, giving additional scope for amendments.

The Prime Minister, together with the Minister of Information and his Deputy Minister Abdishakur Ali Mire, hosted an iftar dinner for Somali journalists on 18 July specifically so they could raise their issues and concerns regarding the draft Media Law.

Mohammed Ibrahim, Secretary-General of the National Union of Somali Journalists, thanked the Prime Minister for the opportunity to discuss these issues. He and a number of Somali journalists raised a number of issues, including protection of sources, the independence of the National Media Council, the Council’s powers, access to information and lifting the suspension of journalists if convicted.

“I am on record numerous times on the subject of defending press freedom and journalist's rights and my government's commitment to this is shakeable,” the Prime Minister said. “I would like to assure Somali journalists and the international community alike that there is plenty of time for further consultations on and amendments to the Media Law.

We are fully aware of concerns in this area and are determined to proceed on the basis of international best practice so that press freedom in Somalia is properly enshrined in law.”

Source; Jowhar

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Somali Journalists Call For Somali Government To Widespread Media Freedom

Mogadishu:- More than 50-journalists who work in different media plate forms have attended a meeting held today in Mogadishu the capital city of Somalia.

The journalists  have discussed the recent media laws that was passed by the cabinet of Somali  ministers .

In the course of their  debate, most of of them opposed the government's laws which threats media freedom and democracy.

Somali  journalists in particularly the the journalists who attended the meeting, conveyed  their  anxiety to the members of  Somali parliament who also attended the meeting such as Dahir Amin Jeesow and  Pro. Mohamed Omar Dalha and they pledged the journalists that they vote against the law and protect media rights in the country. 

In history, the media in Somalia has gone through a number of stages. Under the military regime of Mohamed Siad Bare, the media was controlled completely by the government. 

At that time, once a journalist finished their training they were handpicked to work for the government. Thus, if you did not have the backing of the regime, you had no chance in journalism. When the military government fell in 1991, private media  emerged the print press and then electronic media, but unfortunately, the electronic media houses, which were mainly radio stations. 

In 1999, the era of warlord dominated electronic media ended as new private radio stations emerged. Since then, there has also been the establishment of media houses in 2000.

Finally, Somali Media Freedom Defenders is kindly  urging all Somali journalists wherever in the world to talk the federal government to widespread of a free and fair media in the country.