Posted by: APO | 9 April 2008

NUSOJ Receives Democracy Courage Award

National Union of Somali Journalists

NUSOJ Receives Democracy Courage Award


9 April 9, 2008


At a ceremony held during the fifth assembly of World Movement for Democracy (WMD) in Kiev, Ukraine, which
is a global network of democrats including independent journalists, trade unionists, business leaders, religious leaders, human rights activists, practitioners, academics, policy makers, and funders, who have come together to cooperate in the promotion of democracy, honoured the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) at an award ceremony today with the presentation of the Democracy Courage Tribute on behalf of Somali Journalists.


NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said the WMD’s awarding of the tribute to Somali journalists “This tribute comes at a crucial moment for press freedom, human rights and transitional democratization process in Somalia – a time when death threats, arrests, killings, fears of arrest and intimidations of media professionals are alarmingly common in our country”.

“Continuous attacks on media professionals constitute a terrible assault on press freedom, free society, restoration of peace and democratic governance in our war ravaged country. Concerned about the increasing intolerance towards independent journalism and rising violence against journalists from all sides in the conflict, Somali journalists continue to perform their duty professionally and inform the public, protect their freedoms and rights and to work together to build and maintain public respect for their work and for an independent pluralist media” Omar Faruk declared.

Omar Faruk Osman told the Assembly of more than 550 participants from all over the world that journalism has become a high-risk occupation in Somalia and journalists are extremely vulnerable, with no protection.


“This Courage Tribute is recognition of Somali journalists’ democratic struggle for truth, justice and respect for social equality and human rights in the face of deliberate violence, frustration, brutality, determination, dedication and death” he said.

“Today is a great day for Somalia, for me, my colleagues, and those that have supported us. It is also a great day for those who have promoted peace, democracy, and freedom of the press in Somalia” Omar announced.

“In recognition of our members’ unfailing courage and selflessness in the pursuit of their duty to serve the public, we are proud to accept Democracy Courage Tribute of the World Movement for Democracy on behalf of Independent journalists in Somalia” he said in accepting the tribute.


“We hope that this Democracy Courage Tribute not only provides essential moral support to NUSOJ and Somali journalists, but will also remind International community of the need to apply pressure on the political and armed groups in Somalia to end violence against journalists” he said while speaking to members of international community present at the Assembly.

“Somali Journalists have shown courage, perseverance and devotion for their struggle for democracy and press freedom. They strongly defend and promote values of human rights in the most difficult circumstances” said Carl Gershman, President of Washington DC based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and member of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy.

“NUSOJ and Somali journalists deserve international recognition and the support of democrats everywhere and it is in this spirit that we are proud to honor them” Carl said. “We pledge our solidarity with their struggle for democracy and human dignity”.


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