Posted by: africanpressorganization | 31 October 2011

The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) demands a stop to brutality against journalists in Somaliland



The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) demands a stop to brutality against journalists in Somaliland


MOGADISHU, Somalia, October 31, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) has strongly condemned the ongoing brutalities against independent journalists in Somaliland.


Journalist Mohamed Abdi Kahin, nicknamed Boosh, who works for Ramaasnews, an online news website, and Royal TV, a private TV station, was brutally beaten on Thursday, 27 October 2011 by Somaliland police in Hargeysa city after the police accused him of taking pictures from “protesting women”.


On 19 September, police in Hargeisa had beaten up and briefly detained Mustafe Sheik Omar Ghedi, editor of Saxafi newspaper, in Hargeisa after police saw him taking pictures of poor people who were resisting forceful eviction by Somaliland Local Government in Goljano village.


“We demand that the authorities in Somaliland immediately stop this uncalled for brutality and repression against journalists and that action immediately be taken to punish those who beat up and brutalise journalists,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.


The union expressed concern at the apparent increased intolerance of freedom of expression which had seen ordinary citizens intimidated for airing their views through the media.


Jama Elmi Said, an ordinary citizen, who published an article on Waheen newspaper in September 2011 was beaten in Hargeisa’s main market on 12 October by the police. He was victimized for expressing his view in the media.


Last week, a group of Members of Somaliland House of Representatives have publicly announced that they have prepared a draft media bill, which they intend to table in the House of Representatives in a bid “to control the unethical and irresponsible print media of Somaliland”, according to one of the members who spoke to the media.


The journalists’ community in Somaliland have strongly opposed this bill due to lack of consultations with media stakeholders and the journalists and whose content remain unknown, but the Bill is potentially dangerous to media freedom. Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) has expressed its opposition to the move and warned members of House of Representatives against tabling the said Bill.


“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Somaliland in making sure this bill is not tabled in the House of Representatives because there has been no consultation with media stakeholders and there are serious doubts if it meets the international standards of freedom of expression,” added Osman.


Somaliland has in the past six months experienced recurring attacks on journalists, which have included beatings, arbitrary, arrest, criminal charges of defamation and slander against journalists perpetrated by senior government officials including ministers.



National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)


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