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Somali Journalists Discuss Somali Media Law at a workshop held at the NUSOJ Conference Hall in Mogadishu

By National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 3, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) organized a one-day Media Law Consultative Workshop which was held at the NUSOJ Conference in Mogadishu on 28 March 2012. The workshop was supported financially by Mustaqbal Media Corporation (NMC) a local Radio station based in Mogadishu.

More than 25 Journalists from all the media sectors- Print, Television, Radios and Online - media - attended a Media Law Consultative Workshop and have got the opportunity to comment and have their inputs to the Somali Media Law..

Mohamed Ibrahim, the Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ)expressed in his opening remarks, the high importance to have the media law back into the hands of the Somali Journalists so that they are able to comment, an opportunity offered by Somalia's Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunication.

Mr. Ibrahim called the media Law workshop a momentum for the future of Somalia's Journalists and media fraternity. The Secretary General thanked the participants for accepting the invitation and their time.

He briefed the participants about the Media Law and how it was drafted before the Parliament approved it in Dec. 2007 and the role he played during drafting the Somali Media Law, which he was member of the committee who drafted it before the parliament;s approval.

Avv. Abdirahman Hassan Omar, the assistant Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists facilitated the workshop and the participants went through the articles of the Media law one by one, discussed and commented. There are some freedom of expression and press freedom restrictions in the law, in which the participants requested to be removed from the media law and NUSOJ shall continue to advocate the best way Somali Journalists and media can attain enough freedom they could exercise.

Ms. Amal Hassan Sheylila from Jubba Radio speaking on behalf of the participants requested from NUSOJ to extend the time and give them chance that they can go back to the respective media stations they work for in order to submit concrete comments and inputs and the participants agreed.

Mr. Sharmarke Abukar from Kulmiye News Network (KNN) Radio praised the union for their efforts in giving such chance to the Somali Journalists and media stations that they can discuss the Somali media law and urged NUSOJ to submit their comments for an amendment. Mr.

Abukar also welcomed the initiatives that they each journalist goes back to his/her media stations for additional comments.\\

Ms. Kowsar Abdi Nor from Horn Cable Television thanked NUSOJ for organizing this workshop, which she said was crucial for the future freedom in which the journalists had to exercise. She noted that she will come with more comments once she returns to the television station she had worked.

Mr. Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar, NUSOJ Treasurer thanked the participants for giving their time in staying with NUSOJ on this workshop. In his closing remarks, Mr. Abikar briefly told the participants the history of the Somali Media Law in the past and pointed out that NUSOJ is engaged in the defense of the rights journalists while it promotes their professional standards and the press freedom throughout the country and will not rest until NUSOJ makes sure your comments and inputs are correctly placed in the law.

Mr. Suleiban Sheik Ismail, NUSOJ's second president of the Supreme Council thanked the participants for their comments and inputs and their time.

Mr. Abdulkadir Jiirow Sharmarke, a representative from the funding radio station, Mustaqbal Media Corporation (MMC) after greetings, explained to the participants the reasons for the funding and that its goals has been achieved. Mr. Sharmarke promised that their radio station will continue working with the union and participate the union's future activities.

Mr. Sharmarke thanked NUSOJ for their services they are providing to the Somali Journalists and urged to double their efforts in the defense of the rights of the journalists. He pointed out that it is his first time he participated NUSOJ activities, the time he has worked for the Horn Afrik Media Inc, where he was working as a producer, but now, your activities and how you are involved into the Somali Journalists' affairs encouraged me to participate, congratulations for your new initiatives and endeavors. He finally advised NUSOJ not rest until the rights of the Somali Journalists and the press freedom are secured.

The Workshop was highly appreciated by all the participants and requested NUSOJ to give time they can go back to the media stations they work for to have greater comments and inputs. They expressed their happiness in getting the opportunity to participate in the Media Law workshop and to have their inputs. The union is receiving comments from the media stations in Mogadishu this week. NUSOJ is also planning to hold another meeting for the Media Directors and Editors on the Somali Media Law sometime this week.

The workshop comes a amid the Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunication and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs are expected to hold a big conference on Somali Media Law. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) will rise the comments and the inputs of the Somali Journalists in that conference.

On the other hand, The Council of Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government recently endorsed Somalia's National Communication Act for the first time in two decades. The union welcomes the endorsement and hopes that it will be changed into practical.

The National Union of Somali Journalists continues to lobby for the Freedom of Expression and the protection of the rights of the Somali Media Workers.

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