Mogadishu, 3 May 2014 - The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Finish foundation for media (VIKES) have marked the World Press Freedom Day in Mogadishu today.
The Minister of Information, Mustafa Sh. Ali Dhuhulow attended the event and emphasised the government’s commitment to promote press freedom. “We are working together with all of you to complete the draft media bill which will hopefully pass for parliamentary approval shortly” he said.
The public information office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) participated in the event and screened a short film on the dangers that journalists face while doing their job in Somalia.
“I would like to thank UNSOM for being here with us today. I am grateful for the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General’s statement and tribute he gave to the Somali journalists” he added.
Head of NUSOJ, Mohamed Ibrahim, while talking about challenges that journalists face not only in Somalia but around the world, called upon the Kenyan government to stop harassing the Somali journalists living in exile in Nairobi. “I would like to request from Kenyan authorities to protect the Somali journalists and also to respect the human rights of all those living as refugees in Kenya.” He said.
“I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Somali journalists to ask the immediate and unconditional release of the Al Jazeera journalists held in Egypt. Journalism is not terrorism and we will never allow innocent journalists to be subjected to such cruel acts, whoever and wherever they are” he added.
At the end of the event, NUSOJ awarded certificates of honour to individuals who have shown outstanding courage and commitment in supporting the media and the Somali journalists at large. Among them was the Somali singer Asha Kiin Elmi who sang a special song dedicated for the Somali journalists.