UK Parliamentarians Table a Motion on Safety of Journalists in Somalia
On: Jan 25, 2012 (07:55:12)
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the decision of
United Kingdom Parliamentarians to formally table a motion on safety of
journalists in Somalia at House of Commons.
The National Union of
Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland (NUJ) in close cooperation
with its sister union in Somalia, NUSOJ, lobbied British MPs to submit
this motion which was tabled on 24 January 2012.
The motion reads:
this House is concerned about the ongoing threats to, and arrests and
killing of journalists in Somalia; condemns the mass arrest of
journalists without charge in Somaliland; believes that these arrests “We
hail the tabling of this important motion which highlights the
sustained and systematic risks that Somali journalists face,” said Omar
Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.
an attempt to intimidate journalists into not covering news stories
critical of the governing authorities; is appalled at the killing of
journalist Abdisalan Sheik Hassan, who was shot dead on 18 December
2011; equally condemns the killing of journalists Farah Hasan Sahel,
Noramfaizul Mohd Nor and Abdiaziz Ahmed Aden, who were killed in 2011;
supports the efforts of the National Union of Somali Journalists and
itsmembers who perform a crucial role in reporting in Somalia against a
background of violence and intimidation for carrying out their jobs;
andurges the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to raise the issues of
organised and continuing threats against journalists in Somalia as a
matter of urgency with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
Muqdisho: Wednesday January 25, 2011 (Somaligov Portal News) :
commends the five MPs that tabled the motion who are playing
instrumental role. NUSOJ is glad its cooperation with the NUJ has
resulted in such submission.
National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) condemns in strongest
terms possible the malicious falsehood and defamatory statement by the
Minister of Information, Posts & Telecommunications of Transitional
Federal Government (TFG), Abdulkadir Mohamed Ahmed (Jahaweyn) with
respect to NUSOJ’s report on the plights of journalists.
Annual Report of NUSOJ highlights plight of journalists who have been
victims of all forms of attacks, including outright repression of media
freedom and journalists’ rights by the Ministry Information, Posts
& Telecommunications and other elements within the TFG against NUSOJ
and its leadership by relentlessly persecuting unionists through
harassment, intimidation, arrest, and even interrogation.
Ministry denied such repressive measures against journalists and their
national union, but the facts contradict the Minister’s
rebuttals.Officials of the ministry were brutally involved in covert and
overt activities to limit the ability of NUSOJ members to assemble
peacefully in March 2011; unfairly tried to facilitate prosecution of 5
NUSOJ leaders; and amongst others.
NUSOJ holds that the Minister
owns and has the right to respond to our report; especially as it is one
of our expectations that such response will help to progressively move
towards better rights protection and
promotion. Unfortunately, the
Minister, characteristically, yet again missed the opportunity to
address the salient issues contained in the report.
Minister has chosen like in the past to pursue a savagery attack as part
of a series of planned “illegitimate conspiracy” against NUSOJ and its
members. NUSOJ calls into question consent of the Office of the Prime
Minister and the top leadership of the Transitional Federal Government
about this libelous statement of Minister Ahmed.
We make bold to
say that we stand by the contents and context of our report as it
relates to the state of rights of journalists in Somalia. Press freedom
continued to be curtailed, violations of the rights of
persons and organisations continue unabated, including verbal,
psychological and physical abuses. The employments of the police and the
judiciary in such attacks have been unrelenting.
this material point in time, things have not changed. For instance,
journalists who operate outside the Ministry’s control, are
discriminated, barred, intimidated or even malevolently belittled,
and questioned. The murderers of four journalists who were killed in
Mogadishu in 2011 in the areas controlled by the TFG are yet to be
neither investigated, tried nor punished. Save for one of the
which was investigated by the African Union Peace-keeping troops panel,
the other three have remained largely unresolved thereby contributing
in no small way to the growing and deepening culture of
Somalia. On 18 December 2011, Abdisalan Sheik Hassan was allegedly
murdered by a government soldier. However, it is a widely known fact
that the killer is still at large, despite cover up arrest of
someone else who was not the actual killer.
attack of the Minister and his officials at the Ministry, who do not
understand the independence of trade unions and journalists movements
is the price of the struggle to be and continue to remain independent,
which we are paying and prepared to continue to make and pay whenever necessary.
Ministry has since then been saying it does not recognize NUSOJ and its
democratically elected and internationally recognized leadership as a
legitimate and legal union leadership because the union is technically
unregistered at the Ministry. It must be pointed out that the Ministry
tried with futility to illegally extract a payment of $1,500, which we
rightly considered as a bribe.
The Minister, Abdulkadir Mohamed
Ahmed (Jahaweyn), furthermore, had in the past aided the use of NUSOJ
logo fraudulently and helped the use of forged letterhead by misguided
individuals motivated along clannish
interests. It is also sad part
of the Ministry that the Minister tried in vain to convince landlord not
to evict and acquire the office space previously occupied by NUSOJ as
part of his strategies and desperations to undermine legitimate,
independent and progressive workers’ organization such as ours.
these difficulties, the union has over the past months continued to
hold meetings to discuss pressing press freedom and labor problems,
issued press releases on media freedom and labor rights violations,
of the union went to court to legally challenge the fraudulent use of
the name of the union with the consent of the Ministry of Information
and supported various actions, such as protests and solidarity support
actions for journalists.
NUSOJ is surprised that the Minister
states such blatant lies, and we would like to urge the Minister to
learn to comment from an informed position as he has got the NUSOJ story
all wrong. Our message to the Minister is clear, stop the futile battle
against journalists and embrace progressive engagement.
but unfortunately, the Minister claimed that the funds of the union are
been embezzled. This allegation is completely concocted and a
mischievous lie meant to distort truth and confuse people. This is
minister who has never seen the accounts of the union and has never
made any attempt to contribute to the financial base of the union. We
want to say unequivocally that all funds and monies received from the
subscriptions from our members and donations from our partners are
regularly accounted for in accordance with laid down procedures. Our
donors, who have severally and satisfactorily commended our prudence and
financial tact and transparency, regularly audit our accounts and
expenses. We continue to commit ourselves to this time-tested tradition
NUSOJ, which maintains largest membership of
journalists across-board, continues to enjoy the support, solidarity and
recognition of International, Continental and Regional journalists,
expression and trade union organizations.
the Minister would come to the point of appreciation of the issues and
stop all illegitimate actions against NUSOJ, which are bringing
disrepute, in no small ways to the Transitional Federal Government and
the current cabinet.
Lastly, we must add that we are at the
moment consulting and analyzing our response options on libelous and
falsehood statement by the Ministerand other orchestrated attacks
against NUSOJ from the Ministry.