NUSOJ protests arrest of media workers over non-payment of salary arrears

By National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)

MOGADISHU, Somalia, September 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) protests the arrest of journalists and other media workers in Puntland over non-payment of 3-months salary arrears owed them by the government television station.

Some fourteen (14) journalists and other media workers, working for Puntland Television, were arrested after they demanded payment of their three months salaries and allowances.

The management of Puntland TV, which is owned by Puntland government, informed workers that they will be given two months salary and the provision of allowances will no longer exist.

Journalists and technicians refused to come to work and the Puntland TV has been off air. The management of the TV station with Puntland police arrested one of the technicians after refusing to put the TV on air. In solidarity, the journalists and other workers went yesterday afternoon (Sunday) to the police station demanding their colleague's release, resulting the police also to arrest protesting media workers.

“Instead of addressing their grievances and paying the media workers, it is disgraceful for arresting workers because they are peacefully putting their grievances forth to their manager and general public,” said Abdirisak Omar Ismail, President of NUSOJ Supreme Council.

NUSOJ fully backs journalists' demands for their 3-month salary arrears to be paid in full and allowances provided as agreed when recruited to employment. Intimidations of rights-demanding media workers must end.

The union hails last night urgent intervention by Puntland President, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, to release arrested media workers and invite them to his office today to discuss and solve their grievances.

“We want Puntland President to instruct management of Puntland TV to pay the salaries arrears of all their media workers swiftly and their allowances must not be removed,” added Ismail.