GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: As the world marks 30 years since the adoption of the global declaration on protection of rights in journalists, media workers and journalists still face oppression and violation of their rights, the UN and the rights group Amnesty International have said.
UN head in Somalia James Swan said Monday in marking the World Press Freedom Day the environment for journalists still remained hostile.
“SRSG Swan noted that although this year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration for the Development of a Free, Independent and Pluralistic African Press, it should also serve as a reminder that the media are still being censored, fined, suspended, harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered,” UNSOM said in a statement.
Swan said the UN aims to train 160 journalists this year alone and has since trained 45 in freedom of expression, rights and responsibilities and women’s political participation.
Meanwhile Amnesty International has warned against continued violation of rights of journalists including arbitrary arrests, detentions and trumped up charges.
“In Somalia, journalists faced an increasingly repressive working environment. They were beaten, harassed, threatened, subjected to arbitrary arrests, and were intimidated by the authorities, including by police, military and other government officials throughout south central Somalia and in Puntland,” Amnesty said.
The rights group noted three journalists have been killed since 2020 to date with no legal recourse.
Somali Media Association (SOMA) also raises concerns over deterioration of media freedom in the country.
“Open-ended detention of journalists and crackdown on media houses are on the rise lately,” Mohamed Osman Makaran , Chairperson of SOMA said.