NUSOJ welcomes African Human Rights Organisations' resolution on the situation of freedom of expression in Somalia
4/20/2012 4:10:03 PM -
MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 20, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) welcomes the resolution adopted by the human rights community in Africa on the situation of freedom of expression in Somalia.
The Forum on NGO Participation in the Work of the 51st Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) meeting in Banjul from 14 to 16 April 2012 in Banjul, The Gambia, in collaboration with the African Union Commission, expressed concern over the Somalia situation.
The Forum said in a resolution 'The Somali people are denied their fundamental human rights and dignity as enshrined in African Charter of Human and People's Rights and other international human rights mechanisms'.
The NGOs Forum, which for the first time adopted a resolution dedicated on the situation of freedom of expression in Somalia, noted that 'violence in Somalia remains a powerful influence that enforces a culture of silence and impunity which affects the work of journalists and the enjoyment of freedom of expression and fundamental human rights'.
The adopted resolution expressed deep concern 'that violations of the right to freedom of expression continue to occur, including increased attacks directed against, and killings of, journalists, and stressing the need to ensure greater protection for all journalists'.
While 'apprehensive of the grave reality that Somalia is the most dangerous place in Africa today for journalists and other media workers, and that since January 2012 four journalists have been killed in targeted attacks', the NGOs Forum called on the African Commission on Human and People's Rights:
1. To urge the Somali authorities and international community to establish and support an independent commission of enquiry or alternative independent mechanism to conduct thorough and independent investigations into all instances of violence and threats of violence against Somali journalists, including soaring cases of murder, and bring those responsible to justice;
2. To condemn criminal acts against journalists and the right of freedom of expression, and take appropriate actions to end the hostility to independent media and to hold the violators of journalists rights accountable;
The resolution, which was unanimously adopted, was campaigned for by the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), Eastern Africa Journalists Association and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
'We welcome this important resolution as a step in the right direction and a recognition that there is need for continental and global intervention to stem the tide of violence and climate of fear in Somalia, which has affected press freedom and the freedom of expression' said the NUSOJ Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman.