Call for safety, protection and freedom for Somalia press at workshop in Mogadishu

UNESCO partnered with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Somalia Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA) in holding a two-day training workshop on safety of journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia. The training targeted thirty editors from the print, radio and television in Somalia.

In Somalia, physical threats or harm committed against journalists are manifested in various forms: assassinations, imprisonment, physical abuse, attack and harassment.  SIMHA organized the training within the framework of its role as advocate for the rights of media houses. The training targeting editors intended to raise awareness of editors on the measures that can be taken to reduce violence against journalists. The training also looked at best practices to help journalists in covering civil disturbances. The Minister of Information Mustafa Ali Duhulow, speaking at the opening of the training, said that “conducting such training is priceless”. “Radio and other media outlets must be aware about security issues in the places where journalists are sent,” he added.

The representatives of the media reiterated that professionalism of the press cannot be guaranteed while it is under threat of violence. One participant noted that a just society highly depends on the media for sustainable development and equality for all, while discussing the difficult conditions in which Somalia journalists operate.  Participants were introduced to recorded training lessons from the Committee to Protect Journalists on safety of journalists.

UNESCO gives special attention to the safety of journalists and combating impunity of crimes and abuses against them. Since endorsing the Declarations of Windhoek, Alma Ata and Santiago, UNESCO has recognized that a media system should be free, pluralistic and independent if press freedom and freedom of expression are to be upheld.