The Federal Parliament of Somalia has passed the Media Bill, eliciting praise from media lobby groups like the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).
According to NUSOJ, the passage of the bill is a “landmark achievement for the Somali media”.
“We welcome the approval of media law by (the) Federal parliament of Somalia; it is a milestone achievement for the Somalia media and journalists,” Mohamed Ibrahim, NUSOJ Secretary General said adding that the bill protects the media workers from unwarranted arrest and to freely exercise their freedom.
“A the major political change ahead and upcoming elections, the bill secures the safety of the journalists as well during the election period.” Mr. Ibrahim added.
Representatives from NUSOJ, Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), Somali Women Journalists (SWJ) and the Network 2013, Media Association for Puntland (MAP) representing journalists and employers have been widely consulted throughout the process and have repeatedly submitted their concerns to the concerned authorities including the Parliamentary Media subcommittee, all of which were given at most considerations.
“It’s vital for our media and journalists to have a press regulations, in order for us to challenge the punitive criminal code, which criminalizes the work of the journalists,” Mr. Ibrahim said and implored the authorities to implement the law to its letter and spirit.