Somalia: Press and Civil Society Groups Jointly Condemn 'All Types of Direct and Indirect Censorship'

Statement from the Journalists Network (SOJON)

Participants from the press and the civil society entities in Somalia who attended a meeting on “How can be strengthened the protection of Somalia’s Freedom of Press” with a special focus on the new administration of Somali Federal Republic condemned all types of direct and indirect censorship.

This meeting, which was held on 16 October 2004, was organized by the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON) after Somalia’s National Reconciliation Conference was culminated soon after electing the Somalia’s interim President for the coming period of five years.

The members of the press and the civil society welcomed the outcome of the National Reconciliation Conference, particularly the selection of 275 members for the federal parliament and the democratic election of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, which concludes fourteen years of disorder and lack of effective government.

The organizations stated in a declaration issued at the end of this meeting that the establishment and existence of free media is vital to the development of Somali people, and that journalists should make self-regulation.

‘The Government should not ignore the participatory role of journalists in drafting the national constitution and the media law’ participants affirmed. Also, this meeting avowed the strengthening and the existence of independent journalistic originations.

This meeting, which was partaken by journalists, human rights activists, media owners, peace campaigners and youth activists, invited all international and national organizations concerned to make special effort to get free and independent Somali media.

Please click here to gain access to the Declaration (PDF document).