International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) today joined to condemn the country’s treatment of press freedom. Somali journalists are faced with the daily threat of violence and intimidation in almost every region of the country. Extensive censorship imposed by the Somali federal government restricts the freedom of speech in the Somali public. This is sharp contrast to the incumbent government’s promise to improve once it assumed power.
“On the occasion of National Press Day of Somalia, we want to reiterate that Somalia remains a highly unsafe place for journalists to work, a circumstance that is exacerbated when killers have impunity,” Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director said. “Somali authorities must change aggressive anti-press stances”.
Attacks against independent media groups have resulted in the death of 6 journalists since 21 January 2013. Shabelle Media Network is one of the groups targetted in this campaign to silence dissenting voices against politically sensitive issues.
“Somali authorities are becoming increasingly repressive toward the media and critical voices. The slayings of journalists have gone unpunished, which is one of the worst records of impunity in the country,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General. “Today we have nothing to celebrate, and instead we must again express our grave concern about the perilous climate of media freedom in our country.”
Journalists in the country have called on the regional authorities to safeguard their right ot work openly and freely “for sustainable development, long-term peace and stability, and a healthy development in Somalia.”