UNSOM supported the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) to mark the 2017 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebrations on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in Mogadishu the main event, and 5-similar events that were organized by NUSOJ in collaboration with it's regional member organizations - 400journalists across the country participated in this colorful events.
The main event that took place in Mogadishu, the administrative capital of Somalia assembled 140 journalist participants, 39% being female journalists. Somalia's Attorney General, the Somalia Minister of Information, Civil society groups, NUSOJ Secretariat were among the participants of the WPFD2017 commemoration held in Mogadishu.
The convention aimed at promoting responsible media freedom and enhance safety of journalists offline and online. It also focused on advocating enactment of laws that enhance press freedom, access to information and fundamental freedoms notably, the safety and security of journalists in Somalia.
H.E. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow) the Somali Minister of Information speaking on the occasion of the International Day for Freedom of Expression stated that Somalia is determined to promote the freedom of expression.
Eng. Yarisow said: "Somali journalists are brave people that lost their lives for their country and they take part of the rebuilding of the country by providing vital information to the public at all times. Somalia has a vibrant private media that take a role to informing public on key issues that matter to them. Somali media also play a pivotal role to the promotion of human rights, democratization process and rebuilding of the country.
Somalia Attorney General Avv Ahmed Ali Dahir who took part the matching with journalists in Mogadishu Peace Garden said that they will defend the rights of freedom expression and freedom of media but they request media also to be responsible and be ethical.
Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu noted "This is really a great move towards establishing structures that can guarantee and support media freedom in Somalia. We hail the minister for his brave action and look forward to a working relationship that can benefit the entire Somali media community," said NUSOJ Secretary-General.
The newly appointed Deputy Puntland Ministry of information Abdirizak Omar Ismail who officially opened the Garowe event in commemoration of the WPFD#2017 underlined "I have been 20years in the Media Community, today i know what it makes to have a free press, from the government i pledge to contribute and in solidarity with the Press freedom and safety of Journalists!
Breakfast talk with UNSOM's Honorable Michael Keating
United Nation Special Envoy to Somalia Mr Keating and his office team from the UN office for Somalia invited Somali journalist leaders for a breakfast chat. The Somalia Journalist executives was led by Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu to show solidarity for the Somali journalists.
"We support and stand with the Somali journalists because for the hard work they have for their community and we are committed to defend the rights of freedom of expression and media" "Mr Keating said
This year's events held across the country (MOGADISHU, KISMAYU, JOWHAR, BAYDHABA, ADADO and GAROWE) enabled journalists, media workers, law enforcement officer and policy makers to deliberate and express their concerns about issues affecting safety of journalists in the country and also discuss the implications of legislations.
Finally, TAYO center for Media excellence was coordinating the WPFD2017 communications across the country and we all pay thanks to their handwork.