Launching the campaign while attending the 5th General Assembly of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), IFJ President Younes Mjahed received first-hand information on the risks facing journalists in the country and discussed with families of the victims about the need for safety by ending widespread impunity for crimes against journalists.
“Somalia has been the focus of IFJ 's campaign for the safety in media for many years because it is a country where journalists are seriously threatened and even murdered with impunity. Today, we launch our continental campaign for the safety of journalists with our regional group FAJ and commit to bringing the campaign to the African Union and African governments to press them on the need to uphold the safety of journalists on the continent and to hold those responsible for attacking journalists accountable,” said Mjahed.
Speaking to Somali journalists, IFJ President said: “We will continue what we started at the international level, namely, to convince member states of the United Nations to support and adopt an IFJ led international convention for the protection of safety of journalists. We call for the adoption of an effective mechanism to investigate crimes committed against journalists and punish suspected criminals. We have been to New York and Geneva to advocate for this major project and we will be taking this to Africa and the rest of the world”.
“At the African level, we have been several times to the headquarters of the African Union, together with our brother Omar Faruk, NUSOJ Secretary General. We have raised to leaders of the continent the need to protect journalists and we are preparing a campaign with FAJ, directed at African governments to put an end to the rampant impunity. We see any act of violence against journalists as a crime that must be taken seriously by governments and followed by proper investigation and punishment of perpetrators,” added Mjahed.
IFJ considers Somalia as one of the most dangerous places to work as a journalist in Africa where 78 journalists were murdered in the last seven years.