Hargeisa(SD)-Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) and Somaliland media stakeholders apperently came together to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Offenses against the Media on November 02, which lasted for two days, issued a call to promote media development and to accelerate the protection of media freedom.
The Association failed to use the day to high light the atrocious media crack down by the Somaliland government in recent months, unlike it’s counter parts in the region who criticized their local authorities for their decimal records.
SOLJA’s press release below, is chockfull of it’s ill fated commemoration of a day set aside to highlight Somaliland’s detraining authoritarian media record.
SOLJA requested that the Bihi Government to safe guard press freedoms, instead of demanding journalist rights and freedoms, order the release of journalist and outlets arrested and banned by the regime.
SOLJA also requests that the regime watch the owners of media outlets to ensure journalist right and not the rogue government officials who abuse and torture journalist at will.
SOLJA called on the media not broadcasters “To maintain peace, social cohesion, to avoid exaggerating and spreading false information that can cause social frustration and must feel the impact of their news and reports before spreading”
As if the Somaliland media issues are based on reporters not verifying their news items, while in fact the real freedom of speech issues in Somaliland are related to a government that do not want to see a free press.
SOLJA targets unfairly the media owners, who despite the challenges associated with them, are not the ones arresting, torturing journalist that work for them.
Local and International Agencies:
The So called Somaliland Journalist Association deflects it’s role of coming up with a plan to curtail the media abuses in Somaliland, and instead of encouraging these agencies to put pressure on the Bihi government, it calls on them to “to double their plans for the development of journalists and media institutions”.
This level of incompetence and self interest macerating as a media association brings forward the need to have an alternative advocacy for all Somaliland journalist.
One can clearly acknowledge the need for a truly independent Association for Somaliland media, one that can bring about the changes needed to ensure journalist rights
An Association that has the necessary knowledge in connecting local journalist to international networks that provide recourses need for their development, and in safe guarding their lives and profession.