Today the Media Association of Puntland has officially opened a Two-day (JAN 17th -18th) consultative meeting with the overall objective being to improve the safety of Journalists & issues of impunity in Puntland.
The event, funded by the International Media Support (IMS) with tasks meant to collect and analyze the issues challenging Journalism safety and issues of impunity in Puntland, in-order to advocate against continued lack of Journalist safety and of impunity on crimes against Journalist.
The Association’s chairman at the opening of the event welcomed the participants and called for an active participation both fight crimes against Journalist in his statement quoted ‘’ Any assault against Journalists or even media houses distorts reality by creating a climate of fear and self-censorship, its therefore compulsory to safeguard journalists and media workers from attack, as well as combating the impunity of perpetrators. This is essential to preserve the fundamental right to freedom of expression, guaranteed by our own constitution. Today we are here to share ideas and analyze what are the burning points when it comes to the subject of impunity and safety of journalist in Puntland, adding we need effective inputs and I welcome you all and thank u in advance.
The Media Association of Puntland through this process is engaged to enhance the public knowledge and concern for Journalism safety in Puntland, the outcome of this crucial consultative workshop is meant to initiate dialogue between media and to establish a draft common plan to address the issue of the safety of the Journalists and impunity.
Mohamed Yusuf the head of the Puntland Human rights Defender who was among the invited guests, he noted, ‘’the safety of journalists is a fundamental pillar and circle of the universal right to press freedom. Indeed, freedom of expression is vitally important for citizen participation, dialogue and democracy, It’s also clearly stated in the Puntland constitution. It is mandatory that Puntland state has a duty to ensure’’. I encourage you participants here today to give your utmost inputs inorder to analyze all the concerns, risks all our Media practitioners face to be fully address impunity on crimes against Journalist, Said Yusuf.
The Puntland Ministry of Information and Cultural Heritage – the event’s chief of honor officially opened the event as he remarked ‘’I welcome and see the initiative as a crucial event to promote the Journalist safety, but my advice is put in consideration on ethical behaviors could also contribute on the un safeties of a journalist – so I urge both MAP and the participants to look into matters on ethics, editorial policies – because it surrounds and could a major reason that could be the roots of problems that contribute to unhealthy acts against Journalists. I officially announce the opening of this event and wait to hear the outcome results of this workshop’’, Said Soo’ade!
The security and law enforcement limitations and restrictions have heavily restricted the delivery of public services by journalists in Puntland. Perpetrators of these crimes against journalist are not limited to the terrorists; they include business organizations and the government. The impunity of these perpetrators thrives on the lack of punishment which has bred a culture of impunity.
As a result journalists in Puntland risk violence, intimidation and possible death in their line of work. The ambiguous media law, poor institutional capacities, limited infrastructure and social vulnerabilities continue to promise a safe haven for criminality and impunity in Puntland, while also promoting an international image of lawlessness in Somalia at large.
In the past five years, 25 journalists have been killed in Somalia for their work, and the country ranks at the top of CPJ’s[Global Impunity Index 2015], which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go unpunished.
Finally, as we wait for the outcomes of this occasion we would like to thank the international media support for the generous support given, without them it couldn’t be possible.