The Government of Somalia celebrates World Press Freedom day

 - Mogadishu, 3rd May 2012 - Today the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia celebrated the efforts of Somali journalists in keeping the public informed and expressing the opinions of our pluralistic nation.

Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali applauded the media efforts stating:

“A free and independent media plays an essential role, enabling access to public information, presenting balanced views on socio-political issues to ensure the development of democratic debate, critical for the transition to peace in Somalia.”

Somali journalists courageously continue to operate despite the killing of four journalists this year. The government expresses its deepest condolences to the families and friends of Farhan Abdulle of Radio Daljir, who was killed yesterday in Galkayo; not forgetting the deaths of Mahad Salad Aden of Radio Shabelle, reporter Hassan Osman Abdi, the director of Radio Shabelle and Abukar Hassan Mohamud from Somaliweyn Radio.

Foreign led Al Shabaab continues to terrorize and prevent journalists from expressing opinions and imparting opinions contrary to the extremist’s dogmatic views. The government condemns the targeted killings of journalists and will continue to enhance security in newly liberated areas to support the media.

In line with the effort to ensure freedom of expression is upheld, from the 9th – 11th May, the Somali Constitutional conference will address issues currently limiting the freedom of press and discussions will focus on the development of freedom of expression our communities.

The Prime Minister also outlined that the government was working to ratify laws which will govern the telecommunications and broadcasting industry to ensure transparent regulatory processes. Stating:

“Currently, the government is undertaking wide consultation with the industry to ensure that key stakeholders have a role in reviewing the communications act. We will continue to work alongside the National Communications Commission to ensure that strong guarantees for transparency will be engaged in the regulatory process.”

The government would like to commend National Union of Somali Journalist’s independent and critical role in monitoring and investigating the violation of press freedom. Such efforts continue to ensure that safety of up to 700 register Somali journalists. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring free and vibrant press and public debate which is integral to reconciliation and political development in the country.

It is our hope that by working to address challenges that the press face, we can develop the freedom of expression in Somalia to bring about social and political transformation. This year’s theme on Media freedom helping to transform societies is an important chance for us to review how we can develop legal foundation to support the development of independent media houses. This is critical to ensure that all citizens are informed of ongoing activities in the political landscape.

- END -

 Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow)

Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister & Government Spokesperson | Tel: +252615479911 | Tel: +252699998854

E-mail: engabdirahman@gmail.com

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