IFJ Calls on Somali Government to Reform Media Law

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today urged the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to revise its recently passed media law, which has created a vague legal structure for media that could be used to hamper press freedom and independence.

The IFJ issued its call after a review by its affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), revealed that law does not meet international standards for press freedom.

“A report from our colleagues in Somalia highlights serious problems with the new law,” said IFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “The government should review the current law and make the necessary changes for it to meet international standards for press freedom.”

NUSOJ says in a report released yesterday that its analysis of the media statute passed by parliament on December 8 shows that at least 17 articles in this law contravene international and regional standards and principles of democratic media law as stated in human rights instruments.

The law has vaguely worded articles and clauses, allows for excessive measures against private media and foreign press, enables the government to exert control over any medium of communication and calls for an ambiguous registration process for media organizations, NUSOJ says.

“The Media Law does not promote an environment in which free expression and media can flourish,” said Omar Faruk Osman, NUSOJ Secretary General.

Click here to read the NUSOJ report.

For more information contact the IFJ at + 32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide