Mogadishu, 23 November, 2012: Somali journalists, media employers, union representatives, trade unionists and officials from the Somali presidency and the office of the prime minister among other government officials who gathered at the conference hall of the presidential guest house to mark the World Day to End crimes of impunity against the journalists in the midst of a year in which 18 media workers have been killed in Somalia and that no one has been brought to court.
The participants condemned all the heinous murders against the journalist during the occasion of the International day to end impunity organized by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) and supported by the Media department of the Somali presidency, was focused the safety of the journalists and the impunity as part of the union’s campaign in its fight against the continued impunity. During the event, it was announced that the task force will be launched very soon and that both the prime ministers’ office and the office of the presidency has been busy in the establishment of this important committee and that seven people have been shortlisted.
Officials from the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) on behalf of the Somali Journalists requested the Somalia’s President, H.E. Hassan Sheik Mohamoud to launch a body that investigates the crimes against the journalist during a meeting with Somali journalists and other media stakeholders on 9 November 2012 at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. President Hassan Sheik Mohamoud told the journalists and other media stakeholders that the era of the impunity will soon finish and has asked the Prime Minister of Somalia H.E. Abdi Farah Shirdon (Saa’id) to urgently set up a Task Force to thoroughly investigate all cases involving the killing of Somali Journalists with a view to bringing those responsible to justice, which was an important step taken forward in the history of the Somali media community.
The Secretary General of the National Union of the Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim called the Somali President’s announcement in forming a task force a milestone achievement which has boosted the morale of the working journalists during the bloodiest year for the Somali media community in its history, while noted that this event is a reminder to the murderers that they will be punished for the crimes they committed.
“This important gathering of the International Day to end impunity serves two important issues; to remember our fallen colleagues and sends a message to the criminals that they were not forgotten and will be brought to justice once and for all.” Mohamed Ibrahim, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists said, “We welcome our president’s pledge in ending the impunity, which hope might provide the media workers an safe environment which they can practice their profession freely without fear of being killed.”
The chairman of the Somali Congress of Trade Unions, Mr. Mohamed Osman condemned the targeted attacks against the media workers and acknowledged that the media workers receive all sorts of threats, intimidations, arrests among the Somali workers at large and encouraged the media workers to continue.
Several speakers from the Somali Media stations managers, youth representatives and other government officials pointed out that the task force establishment is a great achievement which shows the Somali government commitment in ending the era of the impunity.
Garad Salad, an official from the Media department of the office of the prime minister said that the Somali government has taken your concerns very seriously and is committed a real change, not only the safety of the journalists but also the whole country at large and urged the journalists to stick to the ethical and professional standards while reporting and take part the country’s long road to reconstruction, development and peace and reconciliation.
Finally, the Director of the Somali presidency, Mr. Kamal Dahir said that the Somali government is committed in ending the continued impunity and condemns the assassinations against the media workers. Mr. Dahir told the event participants that the Somali Presidency and the office of the prime minister has been working jointly in the formation of the task force from the day the journalists, NUSOJ and other media stakeholders met with the president, H.E. Hassan Sheik Mohamoud on November 9, 2012 noting that the shortlisted people will be announced by the office of the prime minister in the coming days to go.
“Both offices, the presidency and the prime minister’s office consulted with the ministry of information, police, judiciary and the journalists’ union in the establishment of the task force, which shows how the Somali government is committed in ending the unpunished crimes against the journalists.” Kamal Dahir, Director of the Somali presidency said, “We will continue to ensure the safety and the security of the Somali journalists as your concern is out concern as well.” <END>
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