The Present State of SL Media-Press Release
Somaliland Journalist Association “SOLJA “after Having considered Article 32: Freedom of Public Demonstration, Expression of Opinion, Press and other Media:-
- Every citizen shall have the freedom, in accordance with the law, to express his opinions orally, visually, artistically or in writing or in any other way.
- Every citizen shall have the freedom, in accordance with the law, to organise or participate in any peaceful assembly or demonstration.
- The press and other media are part of the fundamental freedoms of expression and are independent.
While adhering to Somaliland Press Law (Law No: 27/2004) which stipulates that the establishment, advancement and development of an effective and free media is necessary for the realization of the exercise of freedom of expression and for democracy;
Having considered: That the freedom of the press not only provides a venue for citizens to express their opinions but also plays a permanent role in the protection of the rights of all persons, and in the advancement of democratic traditions; whilst at the same time providing citizens opportunities to express informed views about the various significant issues and to state their opinions about how the affairs of the nation are conducted;
Somaliland Journalist Association “SOLJA” after analyzing and putting into reflection the current state of affairs the nation is experiencing puts in jeopardy the media capacity to report on critical or supportive statements on various issues arising within the country as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland.
Therefore, Somaliland Journalist Association “SOLJA” urges the current government not put restrain on the capabilities of the press and its agents the right to seek, obtain and report news and information.
Somaliland Journalist Association “SOLJA” apart from the reasons stated above, would like to state that it has come to its attention of the wicked intentions of some politicians with vested interests to use the media as an instrument to disseminate materials that can affects the thoughts and opinions of the public at large with the intention to cause civil strife in the country.
Hence, the reason SOLJA calls on the current Somaliland government to fairly represent to citizens the varied viewpoints through facts public and not in a way which state-owned media maybe used manipulate and distort information in favour of the ruling party and entrench its rule while preventing the public from making informed decisions, therefore undermining democratic institutions or in a way other which may be used by some individuals to change shade of the issue, the occasion and the interest on hand and which may dent the nation good image in the eyes of the international community.
SOLJA urges the government to allow journalists to do their work freely and also to support the advancement and development of an effective and free media is necessary for the realization of the exercise of freedom of expression and for democracy as stipulated in Somaliland Press Law.
On the hand SOLJA would like to express its concern over recent events reported in the local media involving both ruling party and opposition politicians with vested interests who want to plant the seeds of discord among the people of Somaliland and who aims is to tarnish the image of the nation this kind of behavior should stop.
SOLJA at the same time strongly urges local Journalist from using unethical methods in reporting of events and at the same to refrain from being used politicians or traditional leaders in serving their interests or when they are calling out all the superlatives in doom and destruction.
SOLJA advises the proprietors of media outlets and editors to check and regulate their editorial contents are within the limits of the code of ethics and its their responsibility to monitor and examine whatever their publications or broadcasting is reporting or allowing to be read in their media outlet but amazingly, considering the amount information out there to be reported and explored, all we read now is nothing more than personal attack, rumours and criticism of vital national projects by local media outlets.
SOLJA would also like to address the tendency on the part of some government officials to harass and unlawful detain of journalists this should stop immediately especially the unsanctioned use of police to harass members of the media apparent disregard of the civil regime set out in the Press Law .
SOLJA also appeals to the commander of Somaliland police and the Solicitor General to work in hand in hand with Somaliland Journalist Association in a bid to avoid incidents whereby the rights of the journalist are infringed upon for instance the case of Journalist Abdurrahman Mohamed Egge who was unceremoniously detained by the deputy head of Berbera police while performing his work; SOLJA calls for the immediate and unconditional release Journalist Abdurrahman Mohamed Egge.
SOLJA would like to express its utmost gratitude to all those who have being supporting the advancement and development of an effective and free media be it the Government, political organizations, , general public and the Judiciary especially the current Chief Justice of Somaliland High Court who has clearly stated the need to adopt special law to deal with cases involving the press.
Lastly, Somaliland Journalist Association “SOLJA” would like to call upon all members of the media to unite under one common cause and safeguard our national interests and at the same time desist from disseminate materials that can affects the country’s image and coexistence of this nation citizens.
Mr. Mohamed Abdi Jama
Chairman of Somaliland Journalist Association SOLJA