The media fraternity globally is today marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in line with Resolution A/RES/68/163 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013.
The day comes amid rising cases of deaths and intimidation of journalists in Somalia with the latest victim taking a bow yesterday in the Hotel Sahafi attack and another journalist injured.
The death of Mustaf Shafana yesterday adds to another four journalists killed this year alone. Daud Ali Omar from Radio Baidoa was murdered in May followed by Abdihakin Mohamed Omar and Mohamed Abdikarim Moallim Adam both of Somali Broadcasting Corporation and Universal TV respectively in July during the Jazeera Hotel attack.
Waagacusub editor, Abdullahi Ali Hussein was gunned down on his way home in September.
All these deaths and a number of other forms of impunity on the media in Somalia point to a disturbing trend despite remarkable and enduring effort to tell the story.
UNESCO chief Ms Irina Bokova has decried the impunity for crime against journalists calling on governments and industry stakeholders to put in measures to ensure these run away offenses are brought to book.
“The near complete impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against journalists goes against everything that we stand for, our shared values, our common objectives,” said Bokova.
Noting the efforts by UNESCO to address this issue by spearheading the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, Bokova said the challenge remains steep.
“At this time of great change, when all societies are transforming, we must redouble efforts to end impunity for attacks on journalists, in order to advance the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” enshrined in the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” added Bokova.
The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that 1149 journalists have been killed since 1992 with 2015 alone accounting for 45 journalists.
Goobjoog News stands in solidarity with the media fraternity in Somalia in calling for the protection of journalists and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes.